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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Founder of christanity?

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St. Paul's Christianity

In their book The Messianic Legacy, the authors, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln ask, How many Christians today are aware of the enormous differences between Jesus and St. Paul. They see Paul as the first heretic who turned Jesus into an object of religious veneration, which Jesus and other Nazareans in Jerusalem would have regarded as blasphemous. They write: "Paul appears on the scene within a year or so of the Crucifixion. Under the name of Saul of Tarsus, a fanatical Sadducee instrument, he actively participates in attacks on the Nazarean Party in Jerusalem.

Indeed, he participates so actively that he is apparently involved in the stoning to death of Stephen, officially regarded as the first Christian Martyr (although Stephen would have seen himself, of course, as pious Jew). Paul is quite explicit. He freely admits that he persecuted his victims ‘to the death’. Shortly after Stephen’s death, Paul (still Saul of Tarsus at this point), prompted by a sadistic fanatical fervor, embarks for Damascus, in Syria, to sort out Nazareans there. He is accompanied by a band of men, presumably armed, and bears arrest warrants from the High Priest. For Paul to have authority there, he must have had the endorsement of the administration which indicates that Rome had a vested interest in eradicating Nazareans.

In terms of miles covered and energy expended during his missionary travels, Paul’s achievement is amazing. His missionary journey lasts for thirteen years throughout the Holy land, to Asia Minor, and across the sea to Greece. Paul displeases James and the Nazareans and they send their own missionaries to sabotage his teaching for Paul is preaching something very different from what the Nazareans teach. Harassed by James’s emissaries Paul returns to Jerusalem where a full-scale dispute ensues. Eventually an uneasy agreement is concluded between James and Paul, but Paul soon after is placed in protective custody. Taking advantage of his status as a Roman citizen Paul demands that his case be heard by the Emperor personally, not as a prisoner to Rome. He is believed to have died there some where between AD. 64 and 67.

There is no question that Paul acted as ‘a man possessed’. According to tradition Paul is depicted as faithfully broadcasting Jesus’ message across the Roman world of his time. Why, then, should his relationship with Jesus’ own brother have been so strained? Why should there have been such friction with the Nazareans in Jerusalem, some of whom had known Jesus personally and were certainly closer to him than Paul ever was? Why should Paul’s preaching have so provoked the Nazarean hierarchy that they sent their own emissaries to discredit him? It is clear that Paul was doing something of which Jesus would have disapproved. Neither Jesus nor the Nazarean hierarchy any intention of creating a new religion. They were promoting a specifically Judiac message.

As Jesus himself says (Matthew 5:17): ‘Do not imagine that I have abolished the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish them but to complete them.’ For James and the Nazarean Party in Jerusalem what matters is Jesus’ teaching and his claim to Messiah-ship in the context then—as rightful king and liberator. His words and deeds are important He was not intended to be an object of worship. He is certainly not intended to be the only son of God.

When James dispatches Paul and others on missionary expeditions, he desires them to convert people to Jesus’ form of Judaism. The ‘Nation of Israel’, as Jesus, James and their contemporaries conceived it. The process of conversion was intended to increase the influence of Israel. If a revolt was festering its chances of success would have been far greater if it could be synchronized with uprisings by communities across the length and breadth of the Roman Empire.

Paul either fails to see James’objectives or refuses to cooperate. In 2 Corinthians 11:3—4, Paul states explicitly that the Nazareen emissaries of James are publicizing a different Jesus from the one he is promoting. Paul is in effect a traitor to James and the Nazareens. For Paul Jesus’ teachings and political status are less important than Jesus himself. Paul makes converts to his own personal and ‘pagan’ cult, while Judaism becomes irrelevant. What mattered to Paul was a profession of faith in Jesus as a manifestation of God, and such a profession of faith is in itself sufficient to ensure salvation in dogmatic Christianity.

The basic requirements for conversion to Judaism such as circumcision, observance of the Sabbath adherence to dietary laws, are abandoned in the process. Jesus, James and the Nazareans advocated worship of God in the strict Judaic sense. Paul replaces this with worship of Jesus as God. Jesus himself becomes an object of religious veneration in Paul’s version—which Jesus himself, like his brother and the other Nazareans in Jerusalem, would have regarded as blasphemous.

Jesus had been executed as a criminal for offenses against Rome in strict accordance with Roman law. His original followers were regarded as overt revolutionaries dedicated to breaking Roman rule. The Holy Land had long been a source of provocation for Rome, and after the revolt A.D. 66 Roman hostility towards Judaism intensified. No religion which contained vestiges of Judaic Messianic nationalism could survive Roman Imperialism. Therefore all traces of this Messianic nationalism had to be eradicated. In order to disperse itself through a Roman world Christianity recreated itself and rewrote its history. How could you consecrate a traitor against Rome who had been executed for crimes against the Empire.

As a result Jesus’ death was blamed on the Jews—not only to the Sadducees establishment, who undoubtedly had a hand in it, but to the people of the Holy Land in general who were among Jesus’ most fervent supporters. And Jesus had to be divorced from his historical, political context and turned into a spiritual Messiah who posed no challenge whatever to Caesar. Thus, all trace of Jesus’ political activity was de-emphasized, corrupted or eradicated. And, all trace of his Jewish ancestry was deliberately obscured, ignored or rendered irrelevant. And Jesus the dynastic Messiah, the royal heir to the House of Judah was lost to religious history forever.

Jesus’ never had the intention of creating a religion. Neither did James and the Nazarean Party. Like Jesus, they would have regarded it as blasphemy. Like Jesus, they were devout Jews, working and preaching established Judaic tradition. They were also seeking to restore their religion to its original purity. But they would not have created a new system which would become its nemesis.

On page 364 of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the authors, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln write, "By pandering to a Roman audience deifying Jesus, and casting the Jews as scapegoats, the spread of what subsequently became Christian orthodoxy was assured of success. The position of this orthodoxy began to consolidate itself definitively in the second century, principally through Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons around A.D. 180. Probably more than any other early Church Father, Irenaeus contrived to impart to Christian theology a stable and coherent form. He accomplished this primarily by means of a voluminous work, Libros Quinque Adversus Haereses (Five Books against Heresies). In his exhaustive opus Irenneus catalogued all deviations from the coalescing orthodoxy and vehemently condemned them. Deploring diversity, he maintained there could be only one valid Church, outside which there could be no salvation. Whoever challenged this assertion, Irenaeus declared to be a heretic—to be expelled and, if possible, destroyed. Among the numerous diverse forms of early Christianity, it was Gnosticism that incurred Irenaeus’ most vituperative wrath. Gnosticism rested on personal experience, personal union with the divine. For Irenaeus this naturally undermined the authority of priests and bishops and so impeded the attempt to impose uniformity. As a result he devoted his energies to suppressing Gnosticism." To this end it was necessary to discourage individual speculation and to encourage unquestioning faith in fixed dogma. A theological system was required, a structure of codified tenets that allowed of no interpretation by the individual. In opposition to personal experience and gnosis, lrenaeus insisted on a single "catholic" (that is, universal Church resting on apostolic foundation and succession. And implement the creation of such a Church, Irenaeus recognize the need for a definitive canon—a fixed list of authoritative writings Accordingly he compiled such a canon, sifting through the available works, including some, excluding others. Irenaeus is the first writer whose New Testament canon conforms essentially to that of the present day. Such measures, of course, did not prevent the spread of early heresies. On the contrary, they continued to flourish. But with Irenaeus orthodoxy—the type of Christianity promulgated by the "adherents of the message’ ‘—assumed a coherent form that ensured its survival and eventual triumph. It is not unreasonable to claim that Irenaeus paved the way for what occurred during and immediately after the reign of Constantine—under whose auspices the Roman empire became, in some senses, a Christian empire.

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Here we go again with Muslims thinking they have all the answers.

Your religion was founded centuries after Christianity yet you think Muhammed knew Christ better than Paul did? What a joke.

God is not a God of confusion. None of the prophets in the Bible contradict each other. If Muhammed was a true prophet there would be no contradiction either so I believe Muhammed was a false prophet as spoken about in the Bible.

Edited by way2go

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Here we go again with Muslims thinking they have all the answers.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What Muslims?

The article was written by a Christian.

I just made a simple poll to find what people think.

The way you and Jarvis hate Muslim.

Is this the new Christian way?

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What Muslims?

The article was written by a Christian.

I just made a simple poll to find what people think.

The way you and Jarvis hate Muslim.

Is this the new Christian way?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Just because they were born in a western country does not make them Christian any more than making me a mechanic merely because I'm able to park a car in a garage.

Although I think your poll yet another attempt to belittle Christianity, it's not only your post I'm referring to. Read the posts in this forum with an open mind and you'll get what I'm saying.

I don't hate Muslims, any other religion, or people. I don't "hate" at all - it has no place in my life.

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What Muslims?

The article was written by a Christian.

I just made a simple poll to find what people think.

The way you and Jarvis hate Muslim.

Is this the new Christian way?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Founder of christanity? Of course Jesus (as) was not founder of christianity ,neither Muhammad (pbuh) was founder of Islam but it was revelation from Allah upon both Jesus and Muhammad .

Founder of current christianity ? I think it is the long time and the sercumstances .

I am wondering how all companians pray behind our prophet and our prayer today is differant ?

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Way2go Christian god IS god of confusion. Never did any Prophet say that god would incarnate or that Holy Spirit is god. Nor did they even mention about Trinity. Prophets did not even bother or care to say about Trinity because Trinity is something which is not even worth mentioning.

Just one simple question, did Prophet Abraham or Prophet Moses ever say that god has 3 persons and Holy Spirit is one of them. And also did Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses ever say that rest of two persons is Father and Son.

Never did any Prophet of God worship Jesus or Holy Spirit nor did they tell their followers to worship them!

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In their book The Messianic Legacy, the authors, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln ask, How many Christians today are aware of the enormous differences between Jesus and St. Paul.

They see Paul as the first heretic who turned Jesus into an object of religious veneration, which Jesus and other Nazareans in Jerusalem would have regarded as blasphemous.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Someone should tell these three authors that the Nazareans had THREE opportunities to declare Paul's teachings "blasphemous" and, EACH TIME, failed to do so. If this is a premise of their book, it failed, and, if I were you, I'd seek my money back.

They write: "Paul appears on the scene within a year or so of the Crucifixion. Under the name of Saul of Tarsus, a fanatical Sadducee instrument, he actively participates in attacks on the Nazarean Party in Jerusalem.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A year?

Three researchers and they can't even get this right? An internet web search could have provided them with this answer.

So? Did these three clowns get ANYTHING RIGHT?

Paul displeases James and the Nazareans and they send their own missionaries to sabotage his teaching for Paul is preaching something very different from what the Nazareans teach. Harassed by James’s emissaries Paul returns to Jerusalem where a full-scale dispute ensues. Eventually an uneasy agreement is concluded between James and Paul,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

"Displeases?"

"Eventually"?

Couldn't these guys research ANYTHING?

Nobody was sent to "sabotage" Paul's teachings. The Nazareans heard he was preaching and didn't know who he was. They sent their own missionaries to find out. The missionaries disagreed with Paul's teachings - Not the Nazareans. Paul was not requiring circumcision. The missionaries thought that was required. Both James, the head of the Nazareans, and the disciple Peter decided Paul was right and their missionaries were wrong.

And EVENTUALLY? Sounds like months or years. Paul spent 15 days with Peter. That's "eventually"? And what "uneasy" agreement? Peter vouched for Paul.

These three authors wasted your time. They might as well be named Larry, Moe and Curly.

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Way2go Christian god IS god of confusion. Never did any Prophet say that god would incarnate or that Holy Spirit is god. Nor did they even mention about Trinity. Prophets did not even bother or care to say about Trinity because Trinity is something which is not even worth mentioning.

Just one simple question, did Prophet Abraham or Prophet Moses ever say that god has 3 persons and Holy Spirit is one of them. And also did Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses ever say that rest of two persons is Father and Son.

Never did any Prophet of God worship Jesus or Holy Spirit nor did they tell their followers to worship them!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

We believe there is one Almighty God, the Creator of the universe. Man cannot even try to understand or explain the God or how He works. Christians believe God manifests Himself through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

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Do you have anything original to say?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I always try to back up my thoughts with other sources.But if you take my words to be authentic,I will try to do something like this

Someone should tell these three authors that the Nazareans had THREE opportunities to declare Paul's teachings "blasphemous" and, EACH TIME, failed to do so. If this is a premise of their book, it failed, and, if I were you, I'd seek my money back.

What opportunities?There were none. :)

But seriously

This puzzle centres round the fact that at the very beginning of Christian expansion and mission we find a church in Jerusalem headed, not by Peter, the apparent first choice of Jesus, but by James or Jacob, "the brother of the Lord," i.e., Jesus' brother. It may be that "brother" in this context should be seen in a religious rather than a family sense. If this is the case, however, it is odd to say in the least that little mention or importance is assigned to James in the gospel accounts. It is equally odd that if he were literally a blood relative (or even a step-brother, as some have supposed) that he should have risen to such prominence so early on.

What we do know of James from tradition all attests to his sanctity and holiness, and the single letter attributed to him in the New Testament canon has a very Judaic flavour, in keeping with one who spent so much time in prayer in the Jerusalem Temple that his knees were calloused.

If the miraculous origin of Jesus' birth in the beginning of the gospels attributed to Matthew and Luke are set aside, there is nothing in the New Testament writings to suggest that the immediate family of Jesus are anything other than his mother, brothers, and sisters, in the same way as the immediate family of anyone else, though he is presented as showing little regard for them. The impression fostered in the gospels seems to be that the family of Jesus were (a) indifferent to his activities, (B) puzzled by them, © anxious about his sanity, or even (d) relatively hostile. When Jesus is told in Matthew 12:46-50 that his mother and brothers want to see him he is depicted as using the occasion to foster a wider sense of family and community in which his own followers become "mothers and brothers" to him, while his actual relations are, apparently left waiting or ignored. In Luke 14:26 Jesus is even made to advocate "hating" one's father and mother in the furtherance of the spiritual ideal, a notion that is impossible to square with the same Jesus who "has come not to destroy, but to fulfil" the Law of Moses, which explicitly requires honouring one's parents. To be sure, this saying is usually, and probably rightly so, interpreted as being symbolic of a higher devotion, but one cannot help wondering if there might have been a more tactful way to put it.

However we look at it, there is no doubt that Jesus had close relatives, among whom may have been James of Jerusalem, known to later history as James the Just. James, furthermore, is discovered heading the Jerusalem community within a very short time after the crucifixion, and is said by Paul in 1 Corinthians [15:1f] to have been the recipient of one of the resurrection appearances. Regardless of the attitude or opinion of James towards Jesus and his teaching prior to the crucifixion, we should not be surprised were we to discover that Jesus' family supported him in various ways (such as, perhaps, arranging for the provision of an ass or colt and the use of the upper room in Jerusalem). Then, as now, it is quite reasonable that family feelings and loyalties would have been important.

Throughout history families have characteristically supported and protected even the blackest of their black sheep, even when they deplored the behaviour of the person concerned, and we have no firm evidence to suggest hostility towards Jesus and his teaching on the part of his family. Indeed, in Matthew 12:46, mentioned earlier, his mother and brothers seem to have been either actively concerned in his activities, or at least concerned about them. It is unlikely they would have interrupted him in his work just to tell him that his dinner was ready. Whether, after his speech concerning the more important "family" relationship enjoined upon his disciples they actually got to see him, and if they did, what then transpired, we are not told.

It is reasonable to conjecture therefore that James, or James and others, were involved in the establishment of the first "Christian" or Nazarene community in the holy city of Israel itself. Quite early tradition attributes to James the Nazarite vow, seemingly, in his case, permanent, and he is portrayed as worshipping daily in the Temple at Jerusalem, later dying a martyr's death for his convictions. What the difference may have been between a Nazarite and a Nazarene vow, if any, we do not know (although what most Christians would regard as a horrifying conjecture is to be found in Matt. 19:10ff). It may be, that were we to discover some ancient and authentic gospel or epistle in Aramaic or Hebrew, we should discover that they were the same thing, or different forms of the same thing. All early images or icons of Jesus show him with uncut hair, which is at least one certain indication of Nazarite practice, though we do not know that men of his time necessarily wore their hair short.

The point to be made here is that we can by no means be certain that the first Nazarene followers of Jesus and the later Christians represent exactly the same thing. The same must also be conjectured of the first communities, and the very first community of which there is any firm record is that of Jerusalem, a community headed not by Peter, as the chief disciple (if indeed he was) but by James, "the brother of the Lord." Furthermore, it seems to have been an exclusively Jewish community, bound by the Law of Moses, and following the Mosaic Law in its worship and practice. It seems to have had its own "synagogue" or assembly, and to have made regular and continuous use of the nearby Temple. In the language of a later age, it was the first Jewish-Christian church. It was not the only such. Not too much later we come across what a later Church considered as the first schism, and perhaps heresy, in the shape of the Ebionite Christians, who, while accepting Jesus, nonetheless retained the entire Mosaic Law, and retained, as Jews, the practice of circumcision, the adherence to which practice was to raise major problems for Paul and his Gentile ministry.

Nobody was sent to "sabotage" Paul's teachings. The Nazareans heard he was preaching and didn't know who he was. They sent their own missionaries to find out. The missionaries disagreed with Paul's teachings - Not the Nazareans. Paul was not requiring circumcision. The missionaries thought that was required. Both James, the head of the Nazareans, and the disciple Peter decided Paul was right and their missionaries were wrong.

THE COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM

At what is often called the Council of Jerusalem, a well-known author states:

"... it was resolved, against some opposition, that circumcision should not be required." [For Gentile converts]. [Men and Movements in the Primitive Church, p.38. F.F.Bruce, Paternoster Press, Exeter 1979].

This assumption made by a number of authors and scholars in the course of Christian exegesis warrants closer investigation. As Paul tells us in his letter to the Galatians [2:1f] he went with Barnabas and Titus to Jerusalem about fourteen years [some scholars reckon seventeen years] after his own conversion to obtain the decision of the Jerusalem church on this very issue, and here for once the New Testament accounts are not wanting in information. Paul states:

"I went up according to a revelation, and I put before them the gospel which I proclaim in the Nations ... but not even Titus, being a Greek, was required to be circumcised."

Paul goes on to relate that he stood firm against "false brothers" to whom "not even for one hour we yielded in subjection." In the same letter, Paul is clearly more than a little upset by the activities of these "false brothers," but our copies of the letter fail to tell us precisely why they were to be so regarded, or in what their falsity consisted. We may safely presume from the context however that it was concerned in no small measure with the vexing question of circumcision. This is a text where we might reasonably suspect that the hand of a later editor has been at work, not to rearrange the account, as happens elsewhere if textual criticism is to be taken into account, but simply to delete the details of the conflict, so that all we have left at this point is Paul's anger, but not that the debate may have been far more vociferous, and far less harmonious than the existing account in Galatians would have us believe. Who were these "false brothers?" We may safely assume that they were the opposition mentioned in the above quotation.

Fortunately, we do not have to rely on Paul's account alone, for the entire episode is also recorded in the book of Acts, where more information is given. There are actually two accounts, one of which occurs in the "we" section of Acts. Although it may seem that two visits are referred to, it may be that we are reading two versions of the same event from two different original sources, namely the record as handed down by the early church, and the record made by those who were actually present, possibly the author of Luke's gospel and others, including Paul, who sought the decision of the mother community in Jerusalem. One crucial fact is clear from the entire episode in whatever version - the Jerusalem community was the central authority at this time, and James, not Peter, was considered the head of the entire Nazarene movement, although Peter was clearly present, and has a speech attributed to him. We shall consider this speech shortly, but first we will seek to establish the identity of the "false brothers" or "opposition" previously mentioned. Happily, what the letter to the Galatians fails to tell us, one of Paul's travelling companions does - they were Pharisees. According to Acts 15:1ff, which may be regarded as the church's account,

"But some men came down from Judaea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem [from Antioch] to the apostles and elders about this question ... but some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the Law of Moses."

Paul it seems was not the only Nazarene Pharisee, and again the shadow of the famous Gamaliel hovers on the edge of the first-century scenario, and we will permit ourselves a small digression in order to show why we have made such frequent reference to him.

According to The Teaching of Addai, [page 7. Trans. George Howard, with Aramaic text. Scholars Press, U.S.A. ISBN 0-89130-490-8]:

"Abgar wished that he himself might cross over and go to Palestine and see with his own eyes everything that the Messiah was doing. But because he could not pass over a district of the Romans that was not his, lest this occasion should provoke bitter enmity, he wrote a letter and sent it to the Messiah by Hanan the archivist. He went out from Edessa on the fourteenth of Adar, entered Jerusalem on the twelfth of Nisan on the fourth day of the week, and found the Messiah in the house of Gamaliel a Prince of the Jews."

Admittedly this Syriac/Aramaic source dates from circa 400, but it may well be that like other early documents it nonetheless transmits a genuine tradition based upon actual events which were considered at the time of their occurrence to have been of especial significance. In this case the significance was relevant mainly to the church in Edessa, [modern Urfa, in Turkey] which sought to preserve the record of its own foundation and heritage. Apart from the interesting details about the dates and the day of the week, the reference to Gamaliel is brief, and almost of a passing nature. A shrewd Christian apologist, we might suspect, could have made much more of the discovery of Jesus in the house of Gamaliel, especially as he features in Acts, speaking on behalf of the apostles. The opportunity would have existed to place in the mouth of Gamaliel words of commendation of Christian doctrine adapted, perhaps, from his speech in Acts, but the writer fails to take advantage of such a golden opportunity. The very fact of the statement being, as it were, a "throw-away line" tends to argue in favour of its veracity as a historical recollection. We can begin to see that a Pharisaic connection with the early Nazarenes may have been greater than the anti-Pharisaic sentiment place in the mouth of Jesus in the gospels is clearly intended to suggest.

We may infer from the reference in Acts to Gamaliel that by the time of the arrest of the apostles which gave rise to his speech in their defence that he at least was no longer, if ever he had been, a "follower" or supporter of Jesus. We find little in later Christian tradition that relates to Nicodemus, but legends concerning Joseph, not without support, persist in Britain to this day.

That Gamaliel might at one time have supported or associated with Jesus is by no means impossible prior to the year 70, when Jewish thought and speculation was, as Neusner has shown, far less structured or clearly defined (in sectarian terms) as is often supposed. We know from the gospels, in similar "throw-away lines" to that of the Edessa story, that Jesus was on at least two occasions invited to eat at the home of a Pharisee. Added to the present line of speculation, we may be obtaining some very real, if fleeting pointers towards the genuine Jesus, the Nazarene, before he became known to history as "Jesus the Christ, the Messiah of Israel."

CIRCUMCISION

Having considered the letter to the Galatians, and the Church's own account of the Jerusalem Council in Acts, we will complete the picture with the record as it appears in the "we" section of Acts, as told by those present, and incorporated into Luke's account in Acts 21:17ff.

"When we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. On the next day, Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders came. Having greeted them, he related one by one the things that God had worked among the Nations [Gentiles] through his ministry. Having heard him, they glorified the Lord, and said to him, "See, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and all are zealous for the Law. And they were told about you, that you teach the Jews among the Nations to forsake Moses, telling all the Jews among the Nations not to circumcise their children, nor to follow the customs. What then is this? They will certainly hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: there are four men with us who are under a vow; take these men and be purified with them, and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. This way all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in an orderly manner, keeping the Law.

"And as to the believing Gentiles, we have joined [together] in writing, judging them to observe only to keep themselves from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, and from what has been strangled."

First then, the elders draw Paul's attention to the fact that a large number of Jews ("myriads") had become part of the new Nazarene movement in Jerusalem, but are seriously disturbed by stories that Paul had been advocating that Jews of the dispersion, i.e., outside of Palestine, did not need to be circumcised nor to follow the Laws of Moses. We know from Paul's own letters that these charges were certainly true in certain instances or at a certain period, [it is possible that some of these matters were advocated by Paul after the Council of Jerusalem and its doubtful success in real terms] though to what extent the complaints were justified at the time of the Jerusalem Council we cannot be certain. We are bound to be wonder though if Paul may not have dissembled a little, for we know also from his own writings that "for the sake of the gospel" he favoured acting as a Jew when among Jews, and as a Gentile when among Gentiles, being "all things to all men." The important consideration here though is the judgement of the elders of the Jerusalem church. We can compare the above account with the decision of James as recorded in the speech ascribed to him in the other section of Acts [15:19-21]:

"... I judge not to trouble the Gentiles who turn to God, but to write to them to hold back from the pollutions of idols, from fornication and things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had those who preach him in every city from early generations, for he is read in the synagogue on every sabbath."

The next section of Acts [15:22-29] then goes on to give the text of the letter, which repeats the decision. It is significant however that although Paul and Barnabas are mentioned as accompanying the letter, it is in fact sent in the care of one Judas (called Barsabbas) and another companion, Silas, who are to repeat the decision verbally. According to the "we" account, however, Paul would have been unable to accompany Barnabas and the others, having been arrested in Jerusalem as a consequence of the disturbances caused by his appearance in the Temple with the four men, which was to lead to his going eventually to Rome as a prisoner, from where the letter to the Galatians, significantly, is said to have been written.

We can see that the Jerusalem elders under James are seen to have acted with considerable subtlety. They may well, as Paul tells the Galatians, have offered the "right hand of fellowship" to him and Barnabas. but they were not going to trust the delivery of the letter to them. Not only this, but Judas and Silas have instructions to convey the decision verbally in addition to the letter. The only logical inference has to be that they did not trust Paul or Barnabas in this matter, and may have suspected that the letter might not arrive in the form described, or at all. If, as it appears on the surface, and as claimed by Paul, they accepted that Gentiles need not be circumcised, what need could there have been for such precautions? One important fact should be noted:

The decision as recorded does not mention circumcision as all - but this was the matter directly in dispute. Again, the possibility arises that the accounts are not complete; in short, a later Church authority may well have "cleaned up the story" for Gentile consumption - but maybe not as thoroughly as might have been desired. Let us examine again the final part of James' speech:

"For Moses has had those who preach him in every city from early generations, for he is read in the synagogue on every sabbath."

This was certainly true, both among the "early generations" and also during the period in which James is exercising his office as head of the Jerusalem community, and especially so in the Jewish synagogues "among the Nations." We know however that although the word of Moses was preached to Gentiles in Jewish synagogues, they were not considered to have become Jews. This they could only do by accepting the whole of the Law of Moses, including circumcision.

Such uncircumcised converts were known as "hearers" or "God-fearers," and were accepted by the synagogues outside of Palestine (and maybe also in Jerusalem) as worthy of commendation. In order to acquire full membership of the spiritual, as distinct from the temporal Israel however they had to undergo a lengthy period of instruction, which if successfully completed allowed them into full participation in the Mosaic covenant, a covenant which could be sealed only by the act of circumcision.

We know that in the later Church Paul's rejection of the observance of the letter of the Law of Israel won the day, but we also discover that the long period of instruction remained, often lasting as long as three years. Instead of a successful novitiate being sealed by circumcision however, the later Church effected the same sealing, now in a new covenant, by the act of baptism and anointing. Indeed, it was the act of anointing - "Christing" in Greek - which had much to do with the very name of "Christian." When James handed down the decision of the Jerusalem community, this name had yet to be invented, and the new communities were still known as either "Followers of the Way" or "Nazarenes."

The fact of the matter is clear: prior to the year 70, the precise nature, practice, and probably the doctrine of the developing movement had yet to achieve anything like a unified system, and in the matter of the circumcision dispute, it may not have been required of Gentile converts if they could be regarded as being in the same case as the "God-fearers" and "hearers" already present in some numbers within more "orthodox" synagogues. In fact the Christian Church was not to achieve any real semblance of universal agreement until the first so-called ecumenical council of Nicea in 325, and then largely because the emperor Constantine issued dire warnings to the disputing bishops if they failed to reach a form of doctrinal agreement.

In many ways we do not need to employ the full apparatus of textual and other scholarly critical methods, useful as these disciplines are, in order to highlight the problems faced by the first Nazarenes, for even the edited versions of the New Testament scriptures as they have come down to us reveal the various inconsistencies quite clearly, as we can see when we consider the speech attributed to Peter in Acts 15:7-11:

"And after there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said to them, "Men, brothers, you know that in the early days God chose those among us that through my mouth the Nations [Gentiles] were to hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving to them the Holy Spirit in the same way as he did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, having purified their hearts by faith. So why do you tempt God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe ourselves to have been saved in the same way as them."

In Galatians 2:9 Paul states quite clearly that he and Barnabas were declared to be the apostles to the Nations [Gentiles] while James and Peter [Cephas] should be responsible for the people of the circumcision, i.e., "The Jews." Peter, however, in the speech attributed to him, is stating equally clearly that he is the apostle to the Nations, and we might wonder if this could account for the fact of James being head of the exclusively Jewish community in Jerusalem. In practice though we discover from other accounts that Peter and Paul went to Jew and Gentile alike, yet it is noteworthy that Paul and his party, in their various travels, seem always to have gone first to the synagogues, and only after that to Gentile communities outside the particularly Judaic environment. We may suspect that Peter did the same.

And what, we must seriously wonder, does Peter mean when he refers to "a yoke upon the necks of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" Is he referring to the yoke of the Torah, the Law of Moses? If so, how is it that James, in his letter, does not abrogate obedience to this Law, but seems merely to allow the concessions that would obtain in any case for any Gentile "God-fearer?" And does not Jesus himself, in the gospel account, enjoin observance of the Law, which he has "come to fulfil? Could this "yoke" refer to something else? If Peter did indeed make such a speech, it would hardly have gone down well with the Nazarene Pharisees mentioned in the dispute. It may well be that Luke, or his editor, when writing or editing the sources for the book of Acts, may have introduced some later doctrinal concepts which would not have been likely to exist in the Jerusalem community during the period we are considering. Equally, it may be that a similar editorial or redactional amendment of the text may have been introduced by a later scribe.

This is not the only inconsistency concerning the events surrounding the circumcision debate. In the "we" account of Acts 21, Paul does not get to return to Antioch after the judgement of James and company, as he is arrested while attempting to fulfil the conditions placed on him with the four men under a vow, when he actually goes with them into the Temple. In Acts 15 however he returns with Barnabas to Antioch, and sets forth upon a number of other adventures. As it seems unlikely that the Jerusalem community would not only have handed the same decision twice, but also written the same letter twice, then the only inference is that Acts 15 and 21 are different versions of the same events. If the letter to the Galatians was indeed written from Rome, this would tend to support the "we" version in Acts 21, and it seems likely that the source for Acts 15 has got his chronology mixed up.

There is one factor in the speech attributed to Peter which does however indicate the primary significance of there having been a Nazarene community in the first place. If the Jerusalem church were exclusively Judaic in their observance of the Torah, the practice of circumcision included, and in their regular and presumably conventional use of the Temple, in what way did they differ from their fellow Jews? In particular, how did this affect the Pharisees in Jerusalem who did not support the new movement represented by James? The answer which suggests itself, mentioned in Peter's speech, is the fact of the Nazarene claim to have received the Holy Spirit, the most prominent and most important expression of it, as emphasised in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians - prophecy.

Prophecy, as understood in the early church, did not refer primarily to foretelling the future, though it might include this gift, but the ability to interpretations made available to both individual disciples and also to entire communities. It was this gift, and probably only this gift, which in the earliest days, characterised the entire movement, and gave it the power and charisma to become, in due course, the source of a new and vibrant religious movement which would eventually outlive the Roman Empire itself, though it would become much changed in the process. If perhaps it had not divorced itself entirely from its roots in the religion of Israel, severing completely the connection between "Jew" and "Gentile" - even to the extent that a later Christian Church would actually begin "missions to the Jews" - then all the ancient prophecies concerning the Messiah of Israel who would save the "Upright of God" from their sins, and personified in, or symbolised by the person of Jesus the Nazarene might have been fulfilled, and we might even now be seeing the approach of "a new heaven and a new earth."

Alas, the divorce became total and bitter, and both parties, in their various ways, paid the alimony of persecution, torture, and death. There is little to choose, in terms of horror, between the persecution of Christians under Nero and Diocletian and that of the Jews under Hitler. By whatever grace both parties survived their persecutors, though recollection of the more recent events may distort our perspective of history. The God of Israel is, nonetheless, also the God of the Christians.

CIRCUMCISION

Having considered the letter to the Galatians, and the Church's own account of the Jerusalem Council in Acts, we will complete the picture with the record as it appears in the "we" section of Acts, as told by those present, and incorporated into Luke's account in Acts 21:17ff.

"When we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. On the next day, Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders came. Having greeted them, he related one by one the things that God had worked among the Nations [Gentiles] through his ministry. Having heard him, they glorified the Lord, and said to him, "See, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and all are zealous for the Law. And they were told about you, that you teach the Jews among the Nations to forsake Moses, telling all the Jews among the Nations not to circumcise their children, nor to follow the customs. What then is this? They will certainly hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: there are four men with us who are under a vow; take these men and be purified with them, and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. This way all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in an orderly manner, keeping the Law.

"And as to the believing Gentiles, we have joined [together] in writing, judging them to observe only to keep themselves from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, and from what has been strangled."

First then, the elders draw Paul's attention to the fact that a large number of Jews ("myriads") had become part of the new Nazarene movement in Jerusalem, but are seriously disturbed by stories that Paul had been advocating that Jews of the dispersion, i.e., outside of Palestine, did not need to be circumcised nor to follow the Laws of Moses. We know from Paul's own letters that these charges were certainly true in certain instances or at a certain period, [it is possible that some of these matters were advocated by Paul after the Council of Jerusalem and its doubtful success in real terms] though to what extent the complaints were justified at the time of the Jerusalem Council we cannot be certain. We are bound to be wonder though if Paul may not have dissembled a little, for we know also from his own writings that "for the sake of the gospel" he favoured acting as a Jew when among Jews, and as a Gentile when among Gentiles, being "all things to all men." The important consideration here though is the judgement of the elders of the Jerusalem church. We can compare the above account with the decision of James as recorded in the speech ascribed to him in the other section of Acts [15:19-21]:

"... I judge not to trouble the Gentiles who turn to God, but to write to them to hold back from the pollutions of idols, from fornication and things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had those who preach him in every city from early generations, for he is read in the synagogue on every sabbath."

The next section of Acts [15:22-29] then goes on to give the text of the letter, which repeats the decision. It is significant however that although Paul and Barnabas are mentioned as accompanying the letter, it is in fact sent in the care of one Judas (called Barsabbas) and another companion, Silas, who are to repeat the decision verbally. According to the "we" account, however, Paul would have been unable to accompany Barnabas and the others, having been arrested in Jerusalem as a consequence of the disturbances caused by his appearance in the Temple with the four men, which was to lead to his going eventually to Rome as a prisoner, from where the letter to the Galatians, significantly, is said to have been written.

We can see that the Jerusalem elders under James are seen to have acted with considerable subtlety. They may well, as Paul tells the Galatians, have offered the "right hand of fellowship" to him and Barnabas. but they were not going to trust the delivery of the letter to them. Not only this, but Judas and Silas have instructions to convey the decision verbally in addition to the letter. The only logical inference has to be that they did not trust Paul or Barnabas in this matter, and may have suspected that the letter might not arrive in the form described, or at all. If, as it appears on the surface, and as claimed by Paul, they accepted that Gentiles need not be circumcised, what need could there have been for such precautions? One important fact should be noted:

The decision as recorded does not mention circumcision as all - but this was the matter directly in dispute. Again, the possibility arises that the accounts are not complete; in short, a later Church authority may well have "cleaned up the story" for Gentile consumption - but maybe not as thoroughly as might have been desired. Let us examine again the final part of James' speech:

"For Moses has had those who preach him in every city from early generations, for he is read in the synagogue on every sabbath."

This was certainly true, both among the "early generations" and also during the period in which James is exercising his office as head of the Jerusalem community, and especially so in the Jewish synagogues "among the Nations." We know however that although the word of Moses was preached to Gentiles in Jewish synagogues, they were not considered to have become Jews. This they could only do by accepting the whole of the Law of Moses, including circumcision.

Such uncircumcised converts were known as "hearers" or "God-fearers," and were accepted by the synagogues outside of Palestine (and maybe also in Jerusalem) as worthy of commendation. In order to acquire full membership of the spiritual, as distinct from the temporal Israel however they had to undergo a lengthy period of instruction, which if successfully completed allowed them into full participation in the Mosaic covenant, a covenant which could be sealed only by the act of circumcision.

We know that in the later Church Paul's rejection of the observance of the letter of the Law of Israel won the day, but we also discover that the long period of instruction remained, often lasting as long as three years. Instead of a successful novitiate being sealed by circumcision however, the later Church effected the same sealing, now in a new covenant, by the act of baptism and anointing. Indeed, it was the act of anointing - "Christing" in Greek - which had much to do with the very name of "Christian." When James handed down the decision of the Jerusalem community, this name had yet to be invented, and the new communities were still known as either "Followers of the Way" or "Nazarenes."

The fact of the matter is clear: prior to the year 70, the precise nature, practice, and probably the doctrine of the developing movement had yet to achieve anything like a unified system, and in the matter of the circumcision dispute, it may not have been required of Gentile converts if they could be regarded as being in the same case as the "God-fearers" and "hearers" already present in some numbers within more "orthodox" synagogues. In fact the Christian Church was not to achieve any real semblance of universal agreement until the first so-called ecumenical council of Nicea in 325, and then largely because the emperor Constantine issued dire warnings to the disputing bishops if they failed to reach a form of doctrinal agreement.

In many ways we do not need to employ the full apparatus of textual and other scholarly critical methods, useful as these disciplines are, in order to highlight the problems faced by the first Nazarenes, for even the edited versions of the New Testament scriptures as they have come down to us reveal the various inconsistencies quite clearly, as we can see when we consider the speech attributed to Peter in Acts 15:7-11:

"And after there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said to them, "Men, brothers, you know that in the early days God chose those among us that through my mouth the Nations [Gentiles] were to hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving to them the Holy Spirit in the same way as he did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, having purified their hearts by faith. So why do you tempt God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe ourselves to have been saved in the same way as them."

In Galatians 2:9 Paul states quite clearly that he and Barnabas were declared to be the apostles to the Nations [Gentiles] while James and Peter [Cephas] should be responsible for the people of the circumcision, i.e., "The Jews." Peter, however, in the speech attributed to him, is stating equally clearly that he is the apostle to the Nations, and we might wonder if this could account for the fact of James being head of the exclusively Jewish community in Jerusalem. In practice though we discover from other accounts that Peter and Paul went to Jew and Gentile alike, yet it is noteworthy that Paul and his party, in their various travels, seem always to have gone first to the synagogues, and only after that to Gentile communities outside the particularly Judaic environment. We may suspect that Peter did the same.

And what, we must seriously wonder, does Peter mean when he refers to "a yoke upon the necks of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" Is he referring to the yoke of the Torah, the Law of Moses? If so, how is it that James, in his letter, does not abrogate obedience to this Law, but seems merely to allow the concessions that would obtain in any case for any Gentile "God-fearer?" And does not Jesus himself, in the gospel account, enjoin observance of the Law, which he has "come to fulfil? Could this "yoke" refer to something else? If Peter did indeed make such a speech, it would hardly have gone down well with the Nazarene Pharisees mentioned in the dispute. It may well be that Luke, or his editor, when writing or editing the sources for the book of Acts, may have introduced some later doctrinal concepts which would not have been likely to exist in the Jerusalem community during the period we are considering. Equally, it may be that a similar editorial or redactional amendment of the text may have been introduced by a later scribe.

This is not the only inconsistency concerning the events surrounding the circumcision debate. In the "we" account of Acts 21, Paul does not get to return to Antioch after the judgement of James and company, as he is arrested while attempting to fulfil the conditions placed on him with the four men under a vow, when he actually goes with them into the Temple. In Acts 15 however he returns with Barnabas to Antioch, and sets forth upon a number of other adventures. As it seems unlikely that the Jerusalem community would not only have handed the same decision twice, but also written the same letter twice, then the only inference is that Acts 15 and 21 are different versions of the same events. If the letter to the Galatians was indeed written from Rome, this would tend to support the "we" version in Acts 21, and it seems likely that the source for Acts 15 has got his chronology mixed up.

Alas, the divorce became total and bitter, and both parties, in their various ways, paid the alimony of persecution, torture, and death. There is little to choose, in terms of horror, between the persecution of Christians under Nero and Diocletian and that of the Jews under Hitler. By whatever grace both parties survived their persecutors, though recollection of the more recent events may distort our perspective of history. The God of Israel is, nonetheless, also the God of the Christians.

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does Judaism also teach that Yahweh manifests himself through Jesus and Holy Spirit?

Judaism rejects the notion that God would be incarnated in human form. As for the "Holy Spirit," I'm not really sure what that means, but probably the answer is "no."

As I've explained on another thread in this same forum, Jesus plays no role whatsoever -- positive or negative -- in Judaism. Many of his teachings were consistent with Judaism; some were not. Certainly the basics of Christian belief today are not consistent with Judaism.

For more see:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsourc...tism/jesus.html

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Thanks ron. I know Judaism does not teach about Christian god. I was just asking Way2go and HHH who say that God has son who died for our sins and they believe Ruh-ul-Qudus (Holy Spirit) is also Yahweh.

Christians can't prove trinity from Old Testament. They can't prove their deviant teachings about God from OT, they only try to prove trinity, original sin, and other weird stuff from NT.

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Thanks ron. I know Judaism does not teach about Christian god. I was just asking Way2go and HHH who say that God has son who died for our sins and they believe Ruh-ul-Qudus (Holy Spirit) is also Yahweh.

Christians can't prove trinity from Old Testament. They can't prove their deviant teachings about God from OT, they only try to prove trinity, original sin, and other weird stuff from NT.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You misunderstand us. The belief in the Trinity is a matter of iman. I do not think we should not attempt to PROVE it to those who believe differently, any more than I believe you should attempt to prove to us that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. That, too, is a matter of iman; both of us have already chosen the route we will go. I say let it ride - God will make all things clear in time. Who knows? We may both have it wrong. That's a risk I'm willing to take, though.

Son of God or slave of God?

Follow the link and read my posts (they're at the end). They won't make you believe in the Trinity, but you may at least understand how we can believe in it...

Edited by Al-Moqanna

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I pointed out:

"Someone should tell these three authors that the Nazareans had THREE opportunities to declare Paul's teachings "blasphemous" and, EACH TIME, failed to do so. If this is a premise of their book, it failed, and, if I were you, I'd seek my money back."

And to which you replied:

    What opportunities?There were none. :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You mean these THREE OPPORTUNITIES that were none?

2 Corinthians 12: 11-14

"I have been foolish. You compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I am in no way inferior to these "superapostles," even though I am nothing. The signs of an apostle were performed among you with all endurance, signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. In what way were you less privileged than the rest of the churches, except that on my part I did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong! Now I am ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, for I want not what is yours, but you. Children ought not to save for their parents, but parents for their children."

This comes from 2nd Corinthians, the VERY LETTER YOU CITED from your three authors. Now either Paul can't count,  and three opportunities is NONE, or Paul lied in his letter and there was no three times, in which case he's trusting or hoping those who received his letter can't count either.

And if you choose not to accept this part of 2nd Corinthians as being part of 2nd Corinthians, you still have to deal with the fact that James and Peter could label Paul a blasphemer for every day that they knew of his existence. How many opportunities is that? According to you - Zero.

You, yourself, quoted from Galatians 2. The very first sentence says:

1 Then after fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.

Notice it says "again"? The Nazaraeans had their opportunities to confront Paul as a blasphemer.

... there is nothing in the New Testament writings to suggest that the immediate family of Jesus are anything other than his mother, brothers, and sisters, in the same way as the immediate family of anyone else, though he is presented as showing little regard for them. The impression fostered in the gospels seems to be that the family of Jesus were (a) indifferent to his activities, (B) puzzled by them, © anxious about his sanity, or even (d) relatively hostile.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If that is true, then why do you conclude this?

...we should not be surprised were we to discover that Jesus' family supported him in various ways (such as, perhaps, arranging for the provision of an ass or colt and the use of the upper room in Jerusalem). Then, as now, it is quite reasonable that family feelings and loyalties would have been important.

Throughout history families have characteristically supported and protected even the blackest of their black sheep, even when they deplored the behaviour of the person concerned, and we have no firm evidence to suggest hostility towards Jesus and his teaching on the part of his family. Indeed, in Matthew 12:46, mentioned earlier, his mother and brothers seem to have been either actively concerned in his activities, or at least concerned about them. It is unlikely they would have interrupted him in his work just to tell him that his dinner was ready.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So Jesus' family went from "(a) indifferent to his activities, (B) puzzled by them, C) anxious about his sanity, or even (d) relatively hostile", to now "have been either actively concerned in his activities, or at least concerned about them."

I missed how you made that transition.

By the way, Jesus' family living in Jerusalem to do the things you suggest is quite a leap from what is known.

"... it was resolved, against some opposition, that circumcision should not be required." [For Gentile converts]. [Men and Movements in the Primitive Church, p.38. F.F.Bruce, Paternoster Press, Exeter 1979].

This assumption made by a number of authors and scholars in the course of Christian exegesis warrants closer investigation. As Paul tells us in his letter to the Galatians [2:1f] he went with Barnabas and Titus to Jerusalem about fourteen years [some scholars reckon seventeen years] after his own conversion to obtain the decision of the Jerusalem church on this very issue,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's RIGHT HERE in the letter of 2nd Corinthians, the very letter your three authors quoted but don't seem to have read:

Regarding sending Titus and Barnabus:

2nd Corinthians 12: 17-18

Did I take advantage of you through any of those I sent to you?

I urged Titus to go and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? And in the same steps?

Regarding the "fourteen years":

2nd Corinthians 12: 2

"I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven."

Everything I have quoted comes from the letter your three authors cited BUT DON'T SEEM TO HAVE READ.

Paul goes on to relate that he stood firm against "false brothers" to whom "not even for one hour we yielded in subjection." In the same letter, Paul is clearly more than a little upset by the activities of these "false brothers," but our copies of the letter fail to tell us precisely why they were to be so regarded, or in what their falsity consisted. We may safely presume from the context however that it was concerned in no small measure with the vexing question of circumcision. This is a text where we might reasonably suspect that the hand of a later editor has been at work, not to rearrange the account, as happens elsewhere if textual criticism is to be taken into account, but simply to delete the details of the conflict, so that all we have left at this point is Paul's anger, but not that the debate may have been far more vociferous, and far less harmonious than the existing account in Galatians would have us believe.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There is ZERO EVIDENCE someone later edited Paul's letter. This is the way Paul writes. He doesn't write his letters to you and me. He writes them to those who already know what he's writing about. He doesn't have to include "details" of the conflict since the person receiving the letter already knows them.

Who were these "false brothers?" We may safely assume that they were the opposition mentioned in the above quotation.

Fortunately, we do not have to rely on Paul's account alone, for the entire episode is also recorded in the book of Acts, where more information is given. There are actually two accounts, one of which occurs in the "we" section of Acts. Although it may seem that two visits are referred to, it may be that we are reading two versions of the same event from two different original sources, namely the record as handed down by the early church, and the record made by those who were actually present, possibly the author of Luke's gospel and others, including Paul, who sought the decision of the mother community in Jerusalem. One crucial fact is clear from the entire episode in whatever version - the Jerusalem community was the central authority at this time, and James, not Peter, was considered the head of the entire Nazarene movement, although Peter was clearly present, and has a speech attributed to him. We shall consider this speech shortly, but first we will seek to establish the identity of the "false brothers" or "opposition" previously mentioned. Happily, what the letter to the Galatians fails to tell us, one of Paul's travelling companions does - they were Pharisees. According to Acts 15:1ff, which may be regarded as the church's account,

"But some men came down from Judaea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem [from Antioch] to the apostles and elders about this question ... but some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the Law of Moses."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Galatians 2: 1-4

"Then after fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. I went up in accord with a revelation, and I presented to them the gospel that I preach to the Gentiles--but privately to those of repute--so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain.

Moreover, not even Titus, who was with me, although he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised,"

Notice the Nazareans had not required Titus to be circumcised? Paul's letter is a defense saying the Nazareans already knew and approved that Titus was not circumcised. There is no mention of the "Law of Moses". On the occassion described in Galatians 2, the subject was circumcision, EXACTLY AS YOU ADMIT. The subject of the Law of Moses came up later.

(I am deleting your "Gemaliel" claims as unsubstantiated theory on your part)

CIRCUMCISION

Having considered the letter to the Galatians, and the Church's own account of the Jerusalem Council in Acts, we will complete the picture with the record as it appears in the "we" section of Acts, as told by those present, and incorporated into Luke's account in Acts 21:17ff.

"When we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. On the next day, Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders came. Having greeted them, he related one by one the things that God had worked among the Nations [Gentiles] through his ministry. Having heard him, they glorified the Lord, and said to him, "See, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and all are zealous for the Law. And they were told about you, that you teach the Jews among the Nations to forsake Moses, telling all the Jews among the Nations not to circumcise their children, nor to follow the customs. What then is this? They will certainly hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: there are four men with us who are under a vow; take these men and be purified with them, and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. This way all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in an orderly manner, keeping the Law.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The subject of this visit is no longer circumcision as described in Galatians 2. It's the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses did not require circumcision. There is no reason to believe Moses was circumcised, that he ordered his children circumcised, or ordered his people circumcised. Cicumcision is not part of the Law. Name one person Moses circumcised. Or did he not know the Law of Moses?

The Nazareans had been teaching the Law of Moses and circumcision because it was required in order to obtain admittance to the Temple in Jerusalem. If you didn't want to enter the Temple, it was meaningless.

 

First then, the elders draw Paul's attention to the fact that a large number of Jews ("myriads") had become part of the new Nazarene movement in Jerusalem, but are seriously disturbed by stories that Paul had been advocating that Jews of the dispersion, i.e., outside of Palestine, did not need to be circumcised nor to follow the Laws of Moses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry. Circumcision had already been covered. The Law of Moses was a new and separate issue. The decision was announced in Acts 15: 22-31:

Then the apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers.

This is the letter delivered by them: "The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings.

Since we have heard that some of our number (who went out) without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:

'It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.'"

And so they were sent on their journey. Upon their arrival in Antioch they called the assembly together and delivered the letter.

When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.

Paul's converts need not obey the Law of Moses. No mention of circumcision.

It is significant however that although Paul and Barnabas are mentioned as accompanying the letter, it is in fact sent in the care of one Judas (called Barsabbas) and another companion, Silas, who are to repeat the decision verbally. According to the "we" account, however, Paul would have been unable to accompany Barnabas and the others, having been arrested in Jerusalem as a consequence of the disturbances caused by his appearance in the Temple with the four men, which was to lead to his going eventually to Rome as a prisoner, from where the letter to the Galatians, significantly, is said to have been written.

We can see that the Jerusalem elders under James are seen to have acted with considerable subtlety. They may well, as Paul tells the Galatians, have offered the "right hand of fellowship" to him and Barnabas. but they were not going to trust the delivery of the letter to them. Not only this, but Judas and Silas have instructions to convey the decision verbally in addition to the letter. The only logical inference has to be that they did not trust Paul or Barnabas in this matter, and may have suspected that the letter might not arrive in the form described, or at all. If, as it appears on the surface, and as claimed by Paul, they accepted that Gentiles need not be circumcised, what need could there have been for such precautions?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The letter was sent so that the people would not have to take Paul's word for it that they did not have to obey the Law of Moses. The two people who brought the letter verbally confirmed that it came from the Nazareans. To suggest that Paul couldn't be trusted by the Nazareans not to change a letter that said exactly what he wanted it to say is silly. And, again, there is no mention of CIRCUMCISION.

I have to divide this response into another part. It's too long to post.

Edited by IMAnonymous

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what's the difference between Son of God and Son of Man? Son of Man is what Jesus says in the Bible. Is he calling himself in the third person? But why is "Man" used?

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Three researchers and they can't even get this right? An internet web search could have provided them with this answer.

The time when Paul came into contact with Christianity cannot be very much after the Passion. We consider that Jesus must have died at Easter, in the year 28, and that the conversion of Paul must be placed at the end of 29. Concerning the fixing of these two dates see the works Essai sur la Chronologie Paulinienne and Notes d'histoire evangelique; Le problème Chronologique. Whilst pursuing an entirely different method from this, Meyer ends by putting the death of Jesus in 27 or 28 and the conversion of Paul in 28 or 29

And if you choose not to accept this part of 2nd Corinthians as being part of 2nd Corinthians, you still have to deal with the fact that James and Peter could label Paul a blasphemer for every day that they knew of his existence. How many opportunities is that? According to you - Zero

First part is easy.

In his recently published work, "Interpolations in the Pauline Letters" William O. Walker, Professor of Religion at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, shows that the existence of interpolations in the genuine Paulines is to be expected simply on a priori grounds. However, the accusation that the Church tampered with Paul’s letters is hardly new; in the second century a war of words raged between the Marcionite Gnostics and the proto-orthodox strand of Christianity. Marcionites alleged massive interpolations into the Pauline letters, while their opponents countered with the charge that the Marcionites had excised quantities of genuine Pauline text. Walker points out that christian religious or other convictions are no basis for deciding in favour of one or the other Interestingly, Valentinian Gnosticism, equally keen to show Paul as their Gnostic founder, disposed of the supposed interpolations by exegesis.

Paul’s letters were certainly collected for Christian use by someone, and were probably assembled into volumes. More than one letter has been used to make up 2 Corinthians for example, and many regard 1 Corinthians and some others as being similarly constructed. We might therefore expect the survival of an occasional manuscript copy of a letter prior to its being included in a volume, but none are known. Walker finds this suspicions, and the remarkable degree of agreement between all the known manuscripts of the letters - much closer than we find in the surviving manuscripts of any other NT material, gives him further cause to be doubtful.

Walker implies that the collector of the various epistles was the most important editor, and he deals with a variety of suspect passages, but omits any investigation of the passage quoted above

Second part is very difficult and shrouded in mysteries.Many explanations have been propsed.

1)The attitude of Paul is characterized by the phrase he was to employ later on: "Christ crucified, a scandal to the Jews " (1 Cor. i. 23 ; cp. Gal. v. 11). It epitomizes at once his experiences as a missionary to the Jews and his personal feelings before he was yet a Christian. His thought was dominated by the principle of the Law, which he recalls in his Epistle to the Galatians, "Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. iii. 13; cp. with Deut. xxi. 23). In permitting Him to die this infamous death, God Himself had pronounced against Jesus, and declared Him accursed. Those therefore who declared that this accursed one was the Son of God, the promised Messiah of Israel, were guilty of an appalling blasphemy. Wellhausen has suggested that, taught wisdom by hatred, Paul from this time recognized in Christianity a doctrine whose development would ruin Judaism.

On the othe end,nazarene were Jews.Jews try to avoid direct confontration.They are peacefull people.

2) Paul's theology proper, with its theological, anthropological, and soteriological ideas, is in no way either a recapitulation of Jesus' own preaching or a further development of it. It is especially significant that he never adduces any of the sayings of Jesus on the Torah in favor of his own teaching about it.

Fortunately, Paul wasn't preaching his message to those who might have known better; conversion of the Jews was a task to be handled by Peter, James and others while Paul was allowed to spread the message to the Gentile world. They, in turn, were a fertile ground for Paul's combination of Hellenism, Judaism, and what little he had learned about Jesus. Paul was the right person at the right time and in the right place

3)The need for a semblance of continuity between Christianity and Judaism, and between Gentile and Jewish Christianity, led to a playing-down of Paul's creative role. The split that took place between Paul and the Jerusalem Church is minimized in the Paulinist book of Acts, which contrasts with Paul's earlier account in Galatians 2.

PAUL, ST. (died c. A.D. 68), founder of Pauline Christianity. His name was originally Saul. He later claimed that he was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, from a long-established Pharisee family in Tarsus. According to Acts (though not according to Paul himself) he studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, the leader of the Pharisees and grandson of Hillel. This account of Paul's youth, however, is subject to doubt, since the tribe of Benjamin had long ceased to exist, and Pharisee families are otherwise unknown in Tarsus. According to Paul's opponents, the Ebionites, he came from a family of recent converts to Judaism. He learnt the trade of tent-making (or perhaps leather-working), by which he made his living.

While still a youth in Jerusalem, Saul became part of the opposition to the newly formed Jerusalem Church (the disciples of Jesus, who, believing that Jesus had been resurrected, continued to hope for his return to complete his messianic mission). Saul was present at the death of Stephen. Soon after, Saul was an active persecutor of the Jerusalem Church, entering its synagogues and arresting its members. Acts represents this as due to Saul's zeal as a Pharisee, but this is doubtful, as the Pharisees, under Gamaliel, were friendly to the Jerusalem Church (see Acts 5).

Moreover, Saul was acting in concert with the high priest (Acts 9:2), who was a Sadducee opponent of the Pharisees. It seems likely that Saul was at this period an employee of the Roman-appointed high priest, playing a police role in suppressing movements regarded as a threat to the Roman occupation. Since Jesus had been crucified on a charge of sedition, his followers were under the same cloud.

The high priest then entrusted Saul with an important mission, which was to travel to Damascus to arrest prominent members of the Jerusalem Church. This must have been a clandestine kidnapping operation, since Damascus was not under Roman rule at the time but was in fact a place of refuge for the persecuted Nazarenes. On the way to Damascus, Paul experienced a vision of Jesus that converted him from persecutor to believer. Paul joined the Christians of Damascus, but soon he had to flee Damascus to escape the officers of King Aretas (II Corinthians 11:32-33), though a later, less authentic, account in Acts 9:22-25 changes his persecutors to "the Jews."

After his vision, according to Paul's own account (Galatians 1:17), he went into the desert of Arabia for a period, seeking no instruction. According to Acts, however, he sought instruction first from Ananias of Damascus and then from the apostles in Jerusalem. These contradictory accounts reflect a change in Paul's status: in his own view, he had received a revelation that put him far higher than the apostles, while in later Church opinion he had experienced a conversion that was only the beginning of his development as a Christian.

Paul's self-assessment is closer to the historical truth, which is that he was the founder of Christianity. Neither Jesus himself nor his disciples had any intention of founding a new religion. The need for a semblance of continuity between Christianity and Judaism, and between Gentile and Jewish Christianity, led to a playing-down of Paul's creative role. The split that took place between Paul and the Jerusalem Church is minimized in the Paulinist book of Acts, which contrasts with Paul's earlier and more authentic account in Galatians .

Paul's originality lies in his conception of the death of Jesus as saving mankind from sin. Instead of seeing Jesus as a messiah of the Jewish type human saviour from political bondage he saw him as a salvation-deity whose atoning death by violence was necessary to release his devotees for immortal life. This view of Jesus' death seems to have come to Paul in his Damascus vision. Its roots lie not in Judaism, but in mystery-religion, with which Paul was acquainted in Tarsus. The violent deaths of Osiris, Attis, Adonis, and Dionysus brought divinization to their initiates. Paul, as founder of the new Christian mystery, initiated the Eucharist, echoing the communion meal of the mystery religions. The awkward insertion of eucharistic material based on I Corinthians 11:23-26 into the Last Supper accounts in the Gospels cannot disguise this, especially as the evidence is that the Jerusalem Church did not practise the Eucharist.

Paul's missionary campaign began c.44 in Antioch. He journeyed to Cyprus, where he converted Sergius Paulus, the governor of the island. It was probably at this point that he changed his name from Saul to Paul, in honor of his distinguished convert. After journeys in Asia Minor where he made many converts, Paul returned to Antioch. His second missionary tour (51-53) took him as far as Corinth; and his third (54-58) led to a three-year stay in Ephesus. It was during these missionary periods that he wrote his Epistles.

Paul's new religion had the advantage over other salvation-cults of being attached to the Hebrew Scriptures, which Paul now reinterpreted as forecasting the salvation-death of Jesus. This gave Pauline Christianity an awesome authority that proved attractive to Gentiles thirsting for salvation. Paul's new doctrine, however, met with disapproval from the Jewish-Christians of the Jerusalem Church, who regarded the substitution of Jesus' atoning death for the observance of the Torah as a lapse into paganism. Paul was summoned to Jerusalem by the leaders James (Jesus' brother), Peter, and John to explain his doctrine (c.50).

At the ensuing conference, agreement was reached that Paul's Gentile converts did not need to observe the Torah. This was not a revolutionary decision, since Judaism had never insisted on full conversion to Judaism for Gentiles. But Paul on this occasion concealed his belief that the Torah was no longer valid for Jews either. He was thus confirmed in the role of "apostle to the Gentiles," with full permission to enroll Gentiles in the messianic movement without requiring full conversion to Judaism.

It was when Peter visited him in Antioch and became aware of the full extent of Paul's views that a serious rift began between Pauline and Jewish Christianity. At a second conference in Jerusalem (c.55), Paul was accused by James of teaching Jews "to turn their backs on Moses" (Acts 21:21). Again, however, Paul evaded the charge by concealing his views, and he agreed to undergo a test of his own observance of the Torah. His deception, however, was detected by a group of "Asian Jews" (probably Jewish Christians) who were aware of his real teaching. A stormy protest ensued in which Paul feared for his life and was rescued by the Roman police, to whom he declared for his protection that he was a Roman citizen. This surprising announcement was the end of Paul's association with the Jerusalem Church, to whom the Romans were the chief enemy.

The Roman commandant, Claudius Lysias, decided to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin in order to discover the cause of the disturbance. With great presence of mind, Paul appealed to the Pharisee majority to acquit him, claiming to be a Pharisee like James. Paul was rescued by the Pharisees from the high priest, like Peter before him. However, the high priest, resenting this escape, appointed a body of men to assassinate Paul. Learning of the plot, Paul again placed himself under the protection of the Romans, who transported him by armed guard from Jerusalem to Caesarea. The High Priest Ananias was implacable, no doubt because of Paul's defection from his police task in Damascus, and laid a charge of anti-Roman activity against him. Paul appealed for a trial in Rome before Caesar, his right as a Roman citizen. The assertion of Acts that the Jewish "elders" were also implicated in the charges against Paul is unhistorical, since these same elders had just acquitted him in his Sanhedrin trial. Paul was sent to Rome, and here our information ends. Legends speak of his eventual martyrdom in Rome.

Paul's authentic voice is found in his Epistles. Here he appears as an eloquent writer, skilled in asserting his authority over his converts as their inspired teacher. The view often asserted, however, that Paul writes in the style of a rabbi is incorrect. His occasional attempts to argue in rabbinical style (e.g., Romans 7:1-6) reveal his lack of knowledge of rabbinic logic. Paul's letters belong to Greek literature and have affinity to Stoic and Cynic literature. His knowledge of the Scriptures is confined to their Greek translation, the Septuagint. Paul was a religious genius, who invested Greek mystery-religion with the historical sweep and authority of the Jewish Bible.

Matthew, Mark, and John never mention Paul or Luke. The Gospel of Luke doesn't either, but the same writer (believed to have written Acts) introduces Paul and also knew Mark. (Acts 12:25, And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.) Peter also mentions and endorses Paul (2 Peter 3:15), but the whole Gospel sounds too much like Paul. Paul mentions Mark (2 Timothy 4:11, Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.) and in particular Luke his "beloved" physician. (Collosians 4:14) Mark's Gospel never mentions Paul.

The original (Jewish) church(s) Jesus founded were those attacked as "Judanizers" and were exterminated for heresy after Nicaea in 325 AD. One group was the Nazarenes who followed the Torah while believing Jesus divine. Another was the Ebionites, who believed Jesus was human, but also observed the Torah. Putting the New Testament books in the approximate correct order by date written:

· James (50 AD?) opposed Paul

· Paul's Epistles plus Hebrews (50-64 AD) (secular and Evangelical seem to agree here.)

· Matthew, Mark, Luke/Acts (Evangelicals 65-70 AD) or Mark, Matthew, Luke/Acts (Secular Mark, 70 AD; Matthew, Luke/Acts 70-80 AD) Luke and Acts were one work.

· I, II Peter (65-80 AD?)

· Book of Revelation 81-96 AD during the rule of Domitian.

· Gospel of John (96 AD or later) See John

· I, II, III John, 96+ AD "an extension of John." (New American Bible)

· Jude (Writer unknown, could proceed John)

Paul, like the other writers, expected the Kingdom of God in their lifetimes and the end of the world in their lifetimes. (Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32, John 21:22) Matthew 16:28, "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." This is about the only place Paul agrees with the other gospel writers.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord... (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

Paul's theology is the main basis of Christian dogma.

First was the concept that the death and resurrection of Jesus superseded the value of the Mosaic Law, a belief that is often expressed as "Jesus died for our sins." It is unclear how much of this idea is original with Paul; Jerome notes the existence in the 4th century of a Christian sect in Syria called the Ebionites who still observed the Mosaic Law, thus suggesting at least some Christians may not have believed in the salvatory qualities of the Passion.

However, there is some evidence that suggests Paul's concept of salvation coming from the death of Jesus was not unique amongst Christians; Philippians 2:5-11 which expounds a Christology similar to Paul's, has long been identified as a hymn of the early Christians, and dated as existing before Paul's letter. Related to Paul's interpretation of the resurrection are his concepts of faith, which he explains through his explanation of Abraham, and of righteousness and the forgiveness for sins, using language that Augustine of Hippo later elaborated on in his formulation of original sin.

In the New Testament the doctrine of original sin is most clearly expressed by Paul's writings. His writings also clearly express the doctrine that salvation is not achieved by conforming to Mosaic law, but through faith in (or faith of) Jesus Christ. Paul was first Christians to expound the doctrine of Christ's divinity.

Paul also develops a strong doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Much of Romans and particularly the ending to 2 Corinthians portrays the Spirit in equality to the Father and Son. These inferences would later be developed into the doctrine of Trinity.

The Only Begotten Son?

In the New Testament Jesus is often called the "Son of God." Paul in Hebrews 11:17 claims Isaac was Abraham's "only begotten son." Isaac was begotten in the sense the Lord made it possible through Sarah, but Isaac was in no manner divine. But what does "son of God" really mean?

That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. (Genesis 6:2) There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6) Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. (Job 2:1)

John also used the term: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name..." (John 1:12) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1) and "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)

Paul uses the term in an identical manner: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14) For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

So as Paul and John illustrate, one who is righteous becomes a "son of God."

The term "only begotten Son" is used in relation Jesus only by the writer of John: For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:17-18. Also John 3:16, 3:18, and 1 John 4:9)

The writer of John is believed to be a Greek convert and his lack of knowledge of Judaism and the Torah is as appalling as his hatred of Jews. (He uses "Jews" as a slur over 60 times in the Gospel of John alone.) First, the Law was given directly by God to Moses. Second, Moses saw God. Whomever wrote John is not quoting Jesus, he is giving us his own opinion. Third, Jesus is not the only "only begotten Son" of God: I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (Psalms 2:7) Psalms is believed to be written by David.

When the writer of John does quote Jesus, "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham." (John 8:40) And according to Paul's follower Luke, "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17:31)

But John 8:40 is contradicted by John 5:18, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." According to the New American Bible most scholars believe John had been altered and rewritten. That is the opinion of the writer of John, Jesus did not say it. The same story is in the other Gospels without that claim. Does that mean anyone that becomes a "son of God" becomes an equal to God?

Jesus was a man, a human ordained by God to show us the way. So like David (Psalms 132:10, etc.), he was an "anointed" servant of God. Jesus and David were not the only "anointed," "Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden.." (Isaiah 45:1) One doesn't even have to be a Jew to be "anointed" and anyone can be a "son" (or daughter) of the Lord as long we act in righteous manner and obey God's Laws.

What does Paul say about God's Law? "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Galatians 3:10) But Paul goes on, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree..." (Galatians 3:13)

Does he mean Jesus? Jesus is cursed? Nowhere in the Bible does it say the Law was a curse, except by Paul. What does Jesus say about the Law? "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17) "But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed." (John 7:49) And what does God say? "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen." (Deut 27:26)

Paul contradicts both God and Jesus at every turn. The Gentile writer of John was certainly not the Apostle John, referring to the "Jews" and "their Law" in many places. It's a second hand story mixed with a lot of Greek Platonism and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Nearly all Christian dogma is based on Paul and a misreading of John. Jesus, the "anointed" servant of God, is reduced to mere shadow. An object of worship (idolatry), not one to be followed. Jesus is no Platonic Logos.

But is Jesus God? "I and my Father are one." said Jesus. (John 10:30) But that must stand beside John 17:22-23, "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

Paul had no interest in the earthly life of Jesus and cared little for those that did. He spoke only of a spiritual Christ. Even in his own words, he claims to be sent directly by God to be an apostle. (1 Corinthians 1:1, Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God...) Thus Paul by his own claims, had a direct line to God, something the original apostles never had. (There is the Trinity)

By tradition, Mark brought the Gospel to Egypt while Peter brought the Gospel to Rome. But the connection back to Paul is clear. Mark and in particular Peter being one of the original twelve, directly disobeyed Jesus. But what did Jesus have to say? "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not..." (Matthew 10:5) This was missing from Luke and Mark, Paul's followers.

What does Paul say about preaching to Gentiles? "And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles..." (Galatians 2:2) So who did Paul get revelations from?

Jesus himself never mentioned Adam, the Garden, etc. All of this is based on Paul alone, and the entire concept of no death before the Fall of Adam is also Paul, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." (Romans 5:14) "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)

Paul's claims we are all being punished for Adam's sin, even if we never sinned ourselves. This is so unjust from God who stands for justice. But what does God has to say? But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right... he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD. If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things...he (the son) shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him..." (Ezekiel 18:5, etc.) As God explained in Ezekiel, only the sinner will be punished for their own sins and not the sins of others. Nor will others be punished for sins they did not commit.

Paul also misquotes the Torah in relation to Abraham, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he had whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and was counted unto him for righteousness. Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." (Romans 4:2-5) The Paulist book Hebrews made a similar claim: "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son..." (Hebrews 11:17)

But is that what God had to say? "ecause thou [Abraham] hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." Genesis 22:16-18.

James agrees with God, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by his works was made perfect?" (James 2:19-22)

In no manner had Abraham "offered up" his son Isaac. He was ordered by God to sacrifice Isaac (as a test) and because Abraham obeyed God's commands, he was blessed. Paul rewrote this vital passage to reflect his own theology, not that of God.

It's clear that without Paul, there would be no Christianity outside a Jewish sect following the Torah. The church in order to make it look like Jesus was the founder of Pauline Christianity, rearranged the order in which the New Testament books were written. (We should note there was no New Testament as such until Marcion in the 2nd century.)

[B]How many times does Jesus appear after the resurrection?

Before whom, and in what chronological order do these appearances take place?

Matthew two times:

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (28:9)

11 disciples (28:16)

Mark three times:

Mary Magdalene (16:9)

Two strolling followers (16:12)

11 disciples* (16:14)

Luke two times:

Cleopas and another unknown follower. (24:13)

Eleven disciples* ". . . and them that were with them." (24:33)

John four times:

Mary Magdalene (20:14)

Ten disciples* (Thomas was not there) (20:24)

Eleven disciples (20:26)

Peter, Thomas, the two sons of Zebedee (James and John), Nathaniel and two other disciples. (21:2)

* According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus made this appearance to all the eleven surviving disciples. Paul has this event take place in the presence of all twelve apostles (Corinthians 15:5) although Judas had long since died, having committed suicide (Matthew 27:5; Acts 1:18). Contrary to all this, John's story places only ten disciples at the scene, Thomas being absent! -- John 20:24

Paul contradicts everyone else. Six times in I Corinthians:

1) And that he was seen of Cephas (Peter), (15:5)

2) All 12 apostles. (15:5)

3) After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (15:6)

4) After that, he was seen of James; (15:7)

5) All 12 apostles. (15:7)

6) Paul himself, "And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." (15:8)

What happened to Mary Magdalene whom both Paul and his follower Luke left out all together? If Jesus showed Himself to 500 people, wouldn't the other four gospel writers have made note of this?

Paul's social views and Christian doctrine

Paul's writings on social issues were just as influential on the life and beliefs of the Christian culture ever since as were his doctrinal statements. In fact, being part of the texts that were generally accepted as inspired scripture, these views were and still are considered part and parcel of the broader Christian doctrine by the more conservative Christians.

Paul condemned sexual immorality, including homosexuality, apparently based on the strict moral laws of the Old Testament, as well as presumably his own private revelation from the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:9f; Eph. 5:21-33). (Paul is traditionally considered a virgin.) Some of his other dictums included advice to his contemporaries not to marry in the expectation of the near return of Jesus and the Apocalypse; permission to marry, or at least to stay married to, an unbeliever, in the hope that the spouse of a Christian will be converted sooner or later; the recommendation for women to obey men (based on the story of Eve—"man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man") and raise families; the "he who does not work, neither shall he eat" dictum; and the command to young men who have trespassed by sleeping with a woman to marry her, a notion that remained prominent in the European culture and the English Common Law until relatively recently.

Paul may have been ambivalent towards slavery, saying that pending the near return of Jesus, people should focus on their faith and not on their social status (1 Cor. 7:21f). Due to his authority, these views have had an influence in Western society into modern times; Paul's apparent failure to explicitly condemn slavery in his Epistle to Philemon may have been sometimes interpreted as justifying the ownership of human beings. (Wikipedia)

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Part II of my reply:

One important fact should be noted:

The decision as recorded does not mention circumcision as all - but this was the matter directly in dispute.

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Finally noticed that wasn't included, did you? That's because it was not part of the dispute you describe. The dispute was over whether or not Gentile converts need to follow the Law Of Moses. That's what the letter addresses - not circumcision. That had already been addressed before. If the subject were circumcision, the letter would have included it. You, yourself, admit Paul didn't have control overthe letter or what was read. If the Nazareans required circumcision, they would have had Titus circumcised and then had a letter sent to Paul's churches and read out loud that circumcision was required, just as they read aloud a letter that following the Law of Moses was not required.

In many ways we do not need to employ the full apparatus of textual and other scholarly critical methods, useful as these disciplines are, in order to highlight the problems faced by the first Nazarenes, for even the edited versions of the New Testament scriptures as they have come down to us reveal the various inconsistencies quite clearly, as we can see when we consider the speech attributed to Peter in Acts 15:7-11:

"And after there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said to them, "Men, brothers, you know that in the early days God chose those among us that through my mouth the Nations [Gentiles] were to hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving to them the Holy Spirit in the same way as he did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, having purified their hearts by faith. So why do you tempt God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe ourselves to have been saved in the same way as them."

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The "yoke" he is describing is the law of Moses, not circumcision. The Jews and their fathers were able to bear circumcision.

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In his recently published work, "Interpolations in the Pauline Letters" William O. Walker, Professor of Religion at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, shows that the existence of interpolations in the genuine Paulines is to be expected simply on a priori grounds.

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William O. Walker spent 39 years as a trinitarian in oposition to Paul before writing that book, which was so dismally received that, published in 2001, it is already out of print and managed to do so without a single review. The main concept Walker offered in his currently failed and rejected thesis is as follows:

To history goes the winners: The emerging Catholic leadership in the churches 'standardized' the text of the Pauline corpus in the light of 'orthodox' view and practices, suppressing and even destroying all deviant texts and manuscripts.

His offered evidence:

1) We have no Paul manuscripts dating from earlier than the third century; thus it is that all of the extant manuscripts are remarkably similar in most of their significant features; and thus it is that the manuscript evidence can tell us nothing about the state of the Pauline literature prior to the third century.

2) Nothing else. There is no #2.

Apparently, it never occurred to Walker that the Paul letters are remarkably similar in most of their significant features because they were written by the same person! Walker simply assumed based on later evidence that there must have been interpolations earlier; or, it is assumed that the early church must have altered the texts, simply because it is determined that there were possible motives for them to make alterations. To make this argument he had to ignore the fact that this alleged conspiracy on the early church is not practically possible; the ability to reach all over the world and snuff out every letter considered to be deviant manuscripts simply did NOT exist! It requires that one believe that the Church had the ability to destroy Paul's letters but not those of the equally existing vast amounts of "heretical" and non-canonical material. Walker's thesis fails on that proof alone. In reality, letters from Paul would have been considered treasures versus fuel for fireplaces. Further, in regards to the present existing verses of Paul's, versus the individual interpolations such as Delight suggests, Walker actually agrees with the consensus [Walk.BPIP, 610]. He can point to no individual verse and claim that it isn't Paul's.

However, the accusation that the Church tampered with Paul’s letters is hardly new; in the second century a war of words raged between the Marcionite Gnostics and the proto-orthodox strand of Christianity. Marcionites alleged massive interpolations into the Pauline letters, while their opponents countered with the charge that the Marcionites had excised quantities of genuine Pauline text.

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This statement is completely without merit. Marcion was a reviled heretic. His ideas were completely rejected by the Apostolic Fathers of the second-century church and would be rejected by all of Islam today. The Jewish writer Celsus used his writings to argue Christianity as a PAGAN religion (Robin L. Fox, Pagans and Christians, page 516). Marcion's major work was entitled "Antithesis" and has not survived. This is not due to an intentional cleansing or burning by Orthodox Christians. It is simply for want of a publisher. You pretend as if Marcion made a case for "massive interpolations" in Paul's letters. In reality, Paul, with his focus on free grace, was by far Marcion's favorite Apostle. As a result, he rejected the writings attributed to all the other Apostles and relied on forms of Luke's Gospel and ten Pauline epistles that he redacted. How did he redact them? Marcion intentionally and knowingly excised as much Old Testament and Jewish influence as he could find in the Paulines and Gospel of Luke. It was Marcion's position that Christianity represented a new religion with a NEW GOD and, therefore, all reference to the OLD GOD of the Book was to be redacted.

Citing Marcion does not support your case that Paul's letters were subject to interpolation.

Walker points out that christian religious or other convictions are no basis for deciding in favour of one or the other Interestingly, Valentinian Gnosticism, equally keen to show Paul as their Gnostic founder, disposed of the supposed interpolations by exegesis.

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Valentine??? I'm willing to bet you can't a single source on the internet that includes the names "Paul" and "Valentine" in the same sentence. You might as well be trying to connect Paul to the "Easter bunny".

Paul’s letters were certainly collected for Christian use by someone, and were probably assembled into volumes.

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One volume. It's called the New Testament.

More than one letter has been used to make up 2 Corinthians for example,

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Probably four. Do you wish to claim he didn't write them?

and many regard 1 Corinthians and some others as being similarly constructed.

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Two to three letters, depending upon your analyst. So? Did he write them or not? Was something withheld? If so, what's your evidence? There should be something missing from 1st and 2nd Corinthians that can be found in his other letters if a redaction took place. So tell me, what's missing?

We might therefore expect the survival of an occasional manuscript copy of a letter prior to its being included in a volume, but none are known. Walker finds this suspicions, and the remarkable degree of agreement between all the known manuscripts of the letters - much closer than we find in the surviving manuscripts of any other NT material, gives him further cause to be doubtful.

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In other words, the total consistency of authorship is evidence of another author. It's too perfect. See my dismissal of Walker above.

Walker implies that the collector of the various epistles was the most important editor, and he deals with a variety of suspect passages, but omits any investigation of the passage quoted above

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The earliest collector of Paul's letters was Luke. He used them to write the Book of Luke and Acts. You'd think he'd have the sense to at least change what Paul wrote to conform with what he wrote. But that doesn't appear to be the case. You, yourself, have argued for an historical difference between both Paul's letters and Acts when you noted Paul's arrest in Acts isn't in agreement with Paul's letters. Pretty careless of Luke to allow Paul's difference to survive, wouldn't you say?

Second part is very difficult and shrouded in mysteries.

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If you thought your answer up to this point was "easy" and it's only NOW becoming "difficult and shrouded in mysteries", then I will spare you a critical reponse, unless, of course, you ask for it.

In which case I'll be happy to provide it. ;)

Edited by IMAnonymous

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Now you are clutching at straws.

Of course Christians argue against these books. But you are presupposing Christians argument as right.

But the questions remain.

1) Is this hatred of Law of Moses taught by a Jew Jesus or a hater convert Paul?

2) If Jesus was a Son of God why was he born in a Jewish home and circumcised, if obeying Moses law was a bad thing?

3) Can God sin? If not, then why Jesus sinned by obeying Law of Moses?

You cannot prove that James and Nazarene were not Jews. They tried to save Jews from the fanatics Paul, by allowing him to preach to Gentiles, his Philosophy of Christianity.

Citing Marcion does not support your case that Paul's letters were subject to interpolation.

MUTILATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Marcion's name appears prominently in the discussion of two important questions, that of the Apostle's Creed, and that of the Canon of the New Testament. It is maintained by recent scholars that the Apostle's Creed was drawn up in the Roman Church in opposition to Marcionism (cf. F. Kattenbusch, "Das Apost. Symbol.", Leipzig, 1900; A.C. McGiffert, "The Apostle's Creed", New York, 1902). Passing over this point, Marcion's attitude toward the New Testament must be further explained. His cardinal doctrine was the opposition of the Old Testament to the New, and this doctrine he had amply illustrated in his great (lost) work, Antithesis, or "Contrasts". In order, however, to make the contrast perfect he had to omit much of the New Testament writings and to manipulate the rest. He took one Gospel out of the four, and accepted only ten Epistles of St. Paul. Marcion's Gospel was based on our canonical St. Luke with omission of the first two chapters. The text has been as far as possible restored by Th. Zahn, "Geschichte d. N.T. Kanons", II, 456-494, from all available sources especially Epiphanius, who made a collection of 78 passages. Marcion's changes mainly consist in omissions where he modifies the text. The modifications are slight thus: "I give Thee thanks, Father, God of heaven and earth," is changed to "I give thanks, Father, Lord of heaven". "O foolish and hard of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken", is changed into, "O foolish and hard of heart to believe in all that I have told you." Sometimes slight additions are made: "We found this one subverting our nation" (the accusation of the Jews before Pilate) receives the addition: "and destroying the law and the prophets." A similar process was followed with the Epistle of St. Paul. By the omission of a single preposition Marcion had coined a text in favor of his doctrine out of Ephes., iii, 10: "the mystery which from the beginning of the world has been hidden from the God who created all things" (omitting en before theo). However cleverly the changes were made, Catholics continued to press Marcion even with the texts which he retained in his New Testament, hence the continual need of further modifications. The Epistles of St. Paul which he received were, first of all, Galatians, which he considered the charter of Marcionism, then Corinthians I and II, Romans I and II, Thessalonians, Ephesians (which, however, he knew under the name of Laodicians), Collosians, Phillipians and Philemon. The Pastoral epistles, the Catholic Epistles, Hebrews, and the Apocalypse, as well as Acts, were excluded. Recently De Bruyne ("Revue Benedictine", 1907, 1-16) has made out a good case for the supposition that the short prefaces to the Pauline epistles, which were once attributed to Pelagius and others, are taken out of as Marcionite Bible and augmented with Catholic headings for the missing epistles.

Catholic Encyclopedia.

1 Corinthians 14:34b-35: "As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says, If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." (NIV) There are many interpretations of this short passage: Many conservative theologians accept this passage in its plain and literal meaning and interpret it as prohibiting all talking by women during services in every society, forever. This would of course prohibit a woman from accepting a position of pastor, minister or priest.

Bible scholar Hans Conzelmann concluded that this passage is a forgery*, inserted into St. Paul's original text by an unknown writer. (1) Thus, it cannot be regarded as the writing of Paul. The verses were not in the original version, and thus cannot be considered inerrant. He cites a number of reasons for this conclusion: this passage contradicts Chapter 11:5 where women are described as taking an active role in church assemblies by praying and prophesying during services. Either the above passage or 11:5 must be invalid.http://www.bibletexts.com/versecom/1co14v33.htm >

there are "peculiarities of linguistic usage, and of thought" in this passage which are not found in the rest of the Epistle

the passage "spoils the flow of thought" and "interrupts the theme of prophesy." There is a discontinuity between verse 36 and 37. Verse 37 links up neatly with verse 33a.

If verses 34b to 36 are simply removed, then the chapter flows smoothly, as it was probably originally intended to do. The forgery* was rather crudely done.

Since you think commentaries prove things, here's a commentary that takes the view of it being an interpolation

http://www.bibletexts.com/qa/qa078.htm

1 cor 14 fabbedOn 1Co 14:34-35 even Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P., in the outstanding New Jerome Biblical Commentary, comments (New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J, and Roland E. Murphy, O.Carm., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990, pages 811-812):These verses are not a Corinthian slogan, as some have argued..., but a post-Pauline interpolation... Not only is the appeal to the law (possibly Gen 3:16) un-Pauline, but the verses contradict 11:5. The injunctions reflect the misogynism of 1 Tim 2:11-14 and probably stem from the same circle. Some mss. place these verses after 40.

Bibletext on line Bbile commentaryhttp://www.bibletexts.com/qa/qa031.htmMetzger and others acknowledge that there are some ancient manuscripts (as early as 5th Century) where verses 34-35 are found after verse 40. This is evidence that those verses were at least moved around in some Greek versions. The obvious awkwardness of their placement between verse 33a and verse 37 encouraged such movement.

Valentine??? I'm willing to bet you can't a single source on the internet that includes the names "Paul" and "Valentine" in the same sentence. You might as well be trying to connect Paul to the "Easter bunny".

Valentinian Doctrine

· Hidden truths/source of doctrine. These truths were passed down by Christ to his disciples in secret and to St. Paul in his vision. Valentine claims to have received from Theudas, a disciple of St. Paul. Only these secret teachings can unlock the meanings of the otherwise ambiguous public teachings of Christ and the scriptures.

http://www.douglasaperkins.com/essay_gnosicismthenandnow.htm

Please answer the 2nd part,as intelligently as you have done the first part. :)

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Now you are clutching at straws.

Of course Christians argue against these books. But you are presupposing Christians argument as right. 

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I am presupposing that, without evidence of interpolation, that I should not suspect interpolation - versus you, who presupposes interpolation without evidence of interpolation.

But the questions remain.

1) Is this hatred of Law of Moses taught by a Jew Jesus or a hater convert Paul?

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To a certain extent, both. Jesus was critical of the Law for it's position on the Sabbath and towards the Mishnah for its laws on divorce. Jesus never once quoted the Ten Commandments and did not teach them to his disciples, going so far as to tell his disciples that the "rich man" would not enter heaven even though the rich man appeared to be obeying the Law.

Paul took that a step further and declared the law to be a curse of God since one who obeyed the law could still be hung up on a tree and, to be hung up on a tree was to be cursed by God.

2) If Jesus was a Son of God why was he born in a Jewish home and circumcised, if obeying Moses law was a bad thing?

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Jesus could not prove he was from God to the Jews unless he obeyed the Law. Casting out demons did not work as evidence because evil can also command demons. When he healed the sick on the Sabbath, he was accused of doing work and, therefore, disobedient to God. The only way Jesus could prove to the Jews that he brought the Word of God was to be raised from the dead - And the only way he could be raised from the dead was to obey the Law of Moses. So he obeyed, but to teach the Jews the errors of their ways he had to step on the rules and show them to be wrong, even while obeying them.

3) Can God sin? If not, then why Jesus sinned by obeying Law of Moses?

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It was not a sin to obey the Law.

 

  You cannot prove that James and Nazarene were not Jews. They tried to save Jews from the fanatics Paul, by allowing him to preach to Gentiles, his Philosophy of Christianity.

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Paul felt it was his mission to preach to the Gentiles. Did the Nazareans order him to? And why would the Nazareans try and save Jews from Paul's teachings but not Gentiles? After all, did not the Nazareans accept Gentiles as converts? Why send the Gentiles a heretic?

 

MUTILATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Marcion's name appears prominently in the discussion of two important questions, that of the Apostle's Creed, and that of the Canon of the New Testament. It is maintained by recent scholars that the Apostle's Creed was drawn up in the Roman Church in opposition to Marcionism (cf. F. Kattenbusch, "Das Apost. Symbol.", Leipzig, 1900; A.C. McGiffert, "The Apostle's Creed", New York, 1902). Passing over this point, Marcion's attitude toward the New Testament must be further explained. His cardinal doctrine was the opposition of the Old Testament to the New, and this doctrine he had amply illustrated in his great (lost) work, Antithesis, or "Contrasts". In order, however, to make the contrast perfect he had to omit much of the New Testament writings and to manipulate the rest. He took one Gospel out of the four, and accepted only ten Epistles of St. Paul. Marcion's Gospel was based on our canonical St. Luke with omission of the first two chapters. The text has been as far as possible restored by Th. Zahn, "Geschichte d. N.T. Kanons", II, 456-494, from all available sources especially Epiphanius, who made a collection of 78 passages. Marcion's changes mainly consist in omissions where he modifies the text. The modifications are slight thus: "I give Thee thanks, Father, God of heaven and earth," is changed to "I give thanks, Father, Lord of heaven". "O foolish and hard of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken", is changed into, "O foolish and hard of heart to believe in all that I have told you." Sometimes slight additions are made: "We found this one subverting our nation" (the accusation of the Jews before Pilate) receives the addition: "and destroying the law and the prophets." A similar process was followed with the Epistle of St. Paul. By the omission of a single preposition Marcion had coined a text in favor of his doctrine out of Ephes., iii, 10: "the mystery which from the beginning of the world has been hidden from the God who created all things" (omitting en before theo).

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This is what I said. Marcion, who preached the existence of two gods, was a heretic in everyone's eyes, be they Christian, Jew, or Muslim. He redacted the entire Old Testament and then sections of Luke and Paul. If you wish to argue Marcion as proof of interpolation, then he interpolated the Old Testament and Luke as well. Further, he was unsuccessful as everyone knew that he had interpolated the works. You cannot use Marcion, a proof of failure to interpolate Paul, as proof Paul was successfully interpolated. He's proof of the opposite.

 

1 Corinthians 14:34b-35: "As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches..." This would of course prohibit a woman from accepting a position of pastor, minister or priest.

Bible scholar Hans Conzelmann concluded that this passage is a forgery*, inserted into St. Paul's original text by an unknown writer. (1) Thus, it cannot be regarded as the writing of Paul. The verses were not in the original version, and thus cannot be considered inerrant. He cites a number of reasons for this conclusion: this passage contradicts Chapter 11:5 where women are described as taking an active role in church assemblies by praying and prophesying during services. Either the above passage or 11:5 must be invalid.http://www.bibletexts.com/versecom/1co14v33.htm >

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Conzelman found a grand total of 3 and 1/2 lines of suspect verse (And I would agree with Conzelman that it is not written by Paul but is an addition by a later forger) in all of Paul's writings. Since it is contradicted by 1st Corinthians 11:5, it demonstrates the forger did not have access to all of Paul's letters and, therefore, could not do what William O. Walker claims and interpolated them all. You cannot win an argument by proving me to be right. You have no evidence that all of Paul's letters were interpolated. You have evidence for one letter, totaling 3 and 1/2 lines.

 

Since you think commentaries prove things, here's a commentary that takes the view of it being an interpolation

http://www.bibletexts.com/qa/qa078.htm

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I do not "think commentary proves things". I think evidence proves things whereas you seem to agree with William O. Walker, who believes the lack of evidence proves things. I accept your 3 and 1/2 lines as evidence of corruption of one letter. I don't accept your argument that all the letters were interpolated because you have not offered any evidence to make that case. You have taken a lack of evidence and argued it to be evidence.

However, the above link didn't do you any good anyway. It demonstrates that Paul's teaching were the same as Jesus' on divorce:

The teachings of Jesus:

Mark 10: 11-12

He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

The teachings of Paul:

1st Corinthians 7: 10-11

To the married, however, I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord): 7 a wife should not separate from her husband--and if she does separate she must either remain single or become reconciled to her husband--and a husband should not divorce his wife.

I thought I was supposed to find something at that link that supported your case instead of mine?

 

1 cor 14 fabbedOn 1Co 14:34-35 even Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P., in the outstanding New Jerome Biblical Commentary, comments (New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J, and Roland E. Murphy, O.Carm., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990, pages 811-812):These verses are not a Corinthian slogan, as some have argued..., but a post-Pauline interpolation... Not only is the appeal to the law (possibly Gen 3:16) un-Pauline, but the verses contradict 11:5. The injunctions reflect the misogynism of 1 Tim 2:11-14 and probably stem from the same circle. Some mss. place these verses after 40.

Bibletext on line Bbile commentaryhttp://www.bibletexts.com/qa/qa031.htmMetzger and others acknowledge that there are some ancient manuscripts (as early as 5th Century) where verses 34-35 are found after verse 40. This is evidence that those verses were at least moved around in some Greek versions. The obvious awkwardness of their placement between verse 33a and verse 37 encouraged such movement.

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Once again, your grand total is 3 and 1/2 lines out of all of Paul's letters. You're making my case. If you have evidence that one single person had access to all of Paul's letters and interrpolated them all, present it. You've shown just the opposite. The forger did not have access to all of Paul's letters.

   

Valentinian Doctrine

· Hidden truths/source of doctrine.  These truths were passed down by Christ to his disciples in secret and to St. Paul in his vision.  Valentine claims to have received from Theudas, a disciple of St. Paul.  Only these secret teachings can unlock the meanings of the otherwise ambiguous public teachings of Christ and the scriptures.

http://www.douglasaperkins.com/essay_gnosicismthenandnow.htm

Please answer the 2nd part,as intelligently as you have done the first part. :)

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Nice try. Although you managed to put Paul's name in the same sentence with Valentines' you also included Jesus and all the other disciples in the first sentence and that Valentine received his secrets from Theudas and not Paul in the other. One could have substituted "Peter" for the name "Paul" in the above with no effect on the content. Yet you have argued that Valentine represents a case for interpolation of Paul. Nowhere in the link that you sent me to above does it ever say that. How come?

I would say that you just had a big, fat failure.

I will answer the second half (If you still want me to) - Although I was hoping you'd make it more challenging. :)

Edited by IMAnonymous

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Now you are making silly demands that I prove that each line of Paul is forged or altered.If some portion is forged that makes the whole book doubtful.

Someone accused Muslims of cherry picking of Hadeeth.I have never seen cherry picking in a Holy Book as Christian do with Bible.

Christians especially catholic say that although a substantial portion of bible is doubtfully,but you can still follow Christianity by following it. lol

The text has been as far as possible restored by Th. Zahn, "Geschichte d. N.T. Kanons", II, 456-494, from all available sources especially Epiphanius, who made a collection of 78 passages

As far as possible is the same thing as 100% accurate in the dictionary of Christian.

Conzelman found a grand total of 3 and 1/2 lines of suspect verse (And I would agree with Conzelman that it is not written by Paul but is an addition by a later forger)

If that doesn't make all letters doubtful to you,than you are a scholar of bible,not a believer.A believer should be 100% sure as to what he is reading is all true.But scholars usually think that a somewhat doubtfully book also have some value.

Jesus could not prove he was from God to the Jews unless he obeyed the Law

Was Christianity made only for Jews?.Jews were a minority in a predominantly Gentile country.Why didn't he resurrected in front of Pilate but only Jews.You never see Jesus preaching to Gentiles.According to you,the Jews understood that death was the divinely required outcome for sin and that sin was the transgression of the Law. If sin is the transgression of the Law, then how were the Gentiles sinning given the fact that they had not received a Law from God? And having not received a Law as the Jews had, why were the Gentiles condemned by God to die? Are some Anglicans doing the right thing in only preaching to Jews?.When it was the mission of Jesus to correct Judaism,what right do missionaries have to convert the world? The reason is simple JESUS WAS A JEW OR A MUSLIM.Paul in his hatred of Jews made it an antisemitic religion.

It was not a sin to obey the Law.

Because from works of law no flesh will be made right before him, for through law is knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20).

Paul felt it was his mission to preach to the Gentiles. Did the Nazareans order him to? And why would the Nazareans try and save Jews from Paul's teachings but not Gentiles? After all, did not the Nazareans accept Gentiles as converts? Why send the Gentiles a heretic?

Now you have completed the full circle :)

There is no question that Paul acted as ‘a man possessed’. According to tradition Paul is depicted as faithfully broadcasting Jesus’ message across the Roman world of his time. Why, then, should his relationship with Jesus’ own brother have been so strained? Why should there have been such friction with the Nazareans in Jerusalem, some of whom had known Jesus personally and were certainly closer to him than Paul ever was? Why should Paul’s preaching have so provoked the Nazarean hierarchy that they sent their own emissaries to discredit him? It is clear that Paul was doing something of which Jesus would have disapproved. Neither Jesus nor the Nazarean hierarchy any intention of creating a new religion. They were promoting a specifically Judiac message.

As Jesus himself says (Matthew 5:17): ‘Do not imagine that I have abolished the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish them but to complete them.’ For James and the Nazarean Party in Jerusalem what matters is Jesus’ teaching and his claim to Messiah-ship in the context then—as rightful king and liberator. His words and deeds are important He was not intended to be an object of worship. He is certainly not intended to be the only son of God.

When James dispatches Paul and others on missionary expeditions, he desires them to convert people to Jesus’ form of Judaism. The ‘Nation of Israel’, as Jesus, James and their contemporaries conceived it. The process of conversion was intended to increase the influence of Israel. If a revolt was festering its chances of success would have been far greater if it could be synchronized with uprisings by communities across the length and breadth of the Roman Empire.

Paul either fails to see James’objectives or refuses to cooperate. In 2 Corinthians 11:3—4, Paul states explicitly that the Nazareen emissaries of James are publicizing a different Jesus from the one he is promoting. Paul is in effect a traitor to James and the Nazareens. For Paul Jesus’ teachings and political status are less important than Jesus himself. Paul makes converts to his own personal and ‘pagan’ cult, while Judaism becomes irrelevant. What mattered to Paul was a profession of faith in Jesus as a manifestation of God, and such a profession of faith is in itself sufficient to ensure salvation in dogmatic Christianity.

Despite the agreement they achieved at the Apostolic Council, Paul recounts how he later berated Peter over his reluctance to share a meal with gentile Christians. Specifically, he called Peter a Judaizer in public, in what is known as "The Incident at Antioch" (Gal. 2:11-18).

Your whole refutation is fairly useless uptill now,except you are trying to sidetrack the issue.

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Now you are making silly demands that I prove that each line of Paul is forged or altered.If some portion is forged that makes the whole book doubtful.

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I made no such demand. I stated you must show that more than one letter has been altered if you wish to argue more than one letter has been altered. To claim that altering one letter makes all his other letters doubtful, is to argue that every letter ever written by anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world, is also of doubtful origin.

You have 3.5 lines of added verse. That's all. I can produce 11 added verses to the books of Mark and Matthew. I can produce entire chapters added to Exodus. Considering the amount Paul wrote, 3.5 lines of added text is insignificant.

  Someone accused Muslims of cherry picking of Hadeeth.I have never seen cherry picking in a Holy Book as Christian do with Bible.

     Christians especially catholic say that although a substantial portion of bible is doubtfully,but you can still follow Christianity by following it. lol

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Excellent point. Not having the Quran, I have had to try and follow Christianity's teachings through altered text. I am aware of the alterations and know how to spot them, or at least most of them, either through contradiction or through the level of thought projected by the writer (All messages from God must be simple enough for a child to understand. When the message fails to meet this test, it is of doubtful origin.).

However, in spite of the altered text (Which is done by additions and not by subtractions) I have still been able to receive the message. I don't know how many others can do this, but I would say "not many". The number of Christians who believe that scripture cannot be altered and is protected by God is equal to the number of Christians who believe in trinity. Any serious Bible student can recognize this as being a man made addition, in my opinion. Believing Jesus was/is God "might" have serious repercussions for a trinitarian simply because such a belief is not only anti-God but an insult to Jesus. But I doubt they'll be denied entry to heaven for believing it. They didn't invent it. The "serious repercussions" are almost certainly upon the forger that added it instead. He's firewood.

However, Paul is not the source of trinitarian belief. And you have only 3.5 lines to point to for alteration. That is simply insignificant in terms of the level of alteration made to the other books. If I am to reject Paul, it cannot be for these 3.5 lines. Otherwise, I have 22 verses in Mark and Matthew and the entire Book of John by which to reject Jesus. Instead, I choose to reject the added verses and then consider what's left to either stand, or fall, based on it's own merit.

If that doesn't make all letters doubtful to you,than you are a scholar of bible,not a believer.A believer should be  100% sure as to what he is reading is all true.But scholars usually think that a somewhat doubtfully book also have some value.

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If the letters of Paul have value or not, that won't be changed based on 3.5 added lines. He was either a man of God or he wasn't. The 3.5 lines of added verse do not change that in any way.

     Was Christianity made only for Jews?.Jews were a minority in a predominantly Gentile country.Why didn't he resurrected in front of Pilate but only Jews.You never see Jesus preaching to Gentiles.According to you,the Jews understood that death was the divinely required outcome for sin and that sin was the transgression of the Law. If sin is the transgression of the Law, then how were the Gentiles sinning given the fact that they had not received a Law from God? And having not received a Law as the Jews had, why were the Gentiles condemned by God to die? Are some Anglicans doing the right thing in only preaching to Jews?.When it was the mission of Jesus to correct Judaism,what right do missionaries have to convert the world? The reason is simple JESUS WAS A JEW OR A MUSLIM.Paul in his hatred of Jews made it an antisemitic religion.

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Or he made it pro-Gentile.

I would agree that Paul took a message that Jesus intended for the Jews and took it to the Gentiles. However, the Jews rejected the message. Can someone else pick up the rejected message and believe in it? After all, are not the Gentiles intitled to the table s[Edited Out]s the Jews throw away? If so, perhaps we are entitled. Paul claims Jesus gave him permission, and even the order, to take up the message to the Gentiles.

But was Paul actually just a nut? Or did he change his orders/message? These two questions deserve consideration.

Because from works of law no flesh will be made right before him, for through law is knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). 

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This is why it's hard to forge Paul. No one else but he could think like this. In verses like this, Paul argued, in his own warped way, that the Law itself served as a temptation to break the Law. He did not know sin until he knew the Law. If someone was going to alter Paul's letters, it's verses like this that they'd be changing.

        Now you have completed the full circle :)

There is no question that Paul acted as ‘a man possessed’. According to tradition Paul is depicted as faithfully broadcasting Jesus’ message across the Roman world of his time. Why, then, should his relationship with Jesus’ own brother have been so strained?

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Why is Jesus' brother involved at all? James is not only at odds with Paul but Peter as well. No one seems to be more out of touch with Jesus' teachings than his own brother. What does Islam think of James?

Why should there have been such friction with the Nazareans in Jerusalem, some of whom had known Jesus personally and were certainly closer to him than Paul ever was?

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This argument doesn't work. Paul convinced Peter he knew Jesus and there was no friction between Peter and Paul. And while James disagreed with both, he made no charges.

Why should Paul’s preaching have so provoked the Nazarean hierarchy that they sent their own emissaries to discredit him? It is clear that Paul was doing something of which Jesus would have disapproved. Neither Jesus nor the Nazarean hierarchy any intention of creating a new religion. They were promoting a specifically Judiac message.

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No one sent any emmissaries to discredit Paul. People who heard Paul speak reported his preachings to the Nazareans who requested he come to meet with them. The only emmissaries the Nazareans sent to People were to carry the invitations and, later, to confirm Paul's teachings.

And is it clear that Jesus would have "disaproved" of Paul? Certainly not according to Paul. And if God was shipwrecking Paul and having him whipped and rodded as a warning to shut up, Paul certainly didn't consider it a warning. He kept on preaching. Clearly, Paul believed Paul. So he's either genuine or a complete "nut".

The argument he was a complete nut can be made. Jesus promised Paul he would protect him from "this/his" people. I've never bothered to look up the original Greek, but I'm willing to bet it translates to "his people". If so, Paul was promised protection from Jesus from both Jews and Rome, since Paul was a Roman citizen. Yet Paul was beheaded by Rome. If so, Trinitarians have a problem here. Jesus didn't keep his word which he should if he actually spoke to Paul. Unfortunately, I can't claim a problem. If God and Jesus aren't one, as you and I agree, by what authority can Jesus have made this promise to Paul? Only God could make such a promise - In which case Paul was lucky to live as long as he did.

Again, I can point out that Paul's verse is not so simple a child can understand it. Someone else though can point out that Paul's letters weren't intended for children. It's point-counter point. So the question of Paul's credibility remains open. Example: Should he, or should he not, have had the power to cast out demons? Peter did.

When James dispatches Paul and others on missionary expeditions, he desires them to convert people to Jesus’ form of Judaism. The ‘Nation of Israel’, as Jesus, James and their contemporaries conceived it. The process of conversion was intended to increase the influence of Israel. If a revolt was festering its chances of success would have been far greater if it could be synchronized with uprisings by communities across the length and breadth of the Roman Empire.

Paul either fails to see James’objectives or refuses to cooperate. In 2 Corinthians 11:3—4, Paul states explicitly that the Nazareen emissaries of James are publicizing a different Jesus from the one he is promoting.

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The letter in its entirety shows that Paul was accused of looking foolish in preaching these differences - And that the Nazareans had not accused him of heresy. He then defends himself of being a fool (and not a heretic) by boasting. You have claimed that the Nazareans, especially James, found him to be a heretic, when they made no such claim at all, and even sent a letter supporting him, and you also have not made your case for why James is superior to Paul in judgement.

Paul is in effect a traitor to James and the Nazareens. For Paul Jesus’ teachings and political status are less important than Jesus himself. Paul makes converts to his own personal and ‘pagan’ cult, while Judaism becomes irrelevant. What mattered to Paul was a profession of faith in Jesus as a manifestation of God, and such a profession of faith is in itself sufficient to ensure salvation in dogmatic Christianity.

     Despite the agreement they achieved at the Apostolic Council, Paul recounts how he later berated Peter over his reluctance to share a meal with gentile Christians. Specifically, he called Peter a Judaizer in public, in what is known as "The Incident at Antioch" (Gal. 2:11-18).

Your whole refutation is fairly useless uptill now,except you are trying to sidetrack the issue.

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I thought the issue was Paul's credibility?

You have claimed Paul was a "traitor" to the Nazareans yet they, themselves, said no such thing. He was called foolish. There is a difference. But you are correct that Paul preached a "profession of faith" as sufficient to ensure salvation. I ask you, is it not possible for Muslim, at the end of his life, to perform a ritual by which he will be forgiven of all his past sins? If so, is that not a "profession of faith" sufficient to ensure salvation?

How is Paul's teaching different than that?

So that you understand, I'm not defending Paul. You're welcome to make any case you want against him. I, myself, raise questions about him. However, I don't think your 3.5 lines of verse and your claim that James found him to be a "heretic" actually supports your case against him. If you argued that Paul was an epileptic whose seizures he believed connected him to Jesus, you'd have a vastly superior argument to the one you're making now. It would at least explain why he believed his own delusions. Your current argument and supporting evidence seems to be 99% imaginary from my view.

Edited by IMAnonymous

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What Muslims?

The article was written by a Christian.

I just made a simple poll to find what people think.

The way you and Jarvis hate Muslim.

Is this the new Christian way?

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Cut and Paste Queen,

Someone should disable your machines ability to cut and paste.

Until then you should check out copyroght infrongements and give credit where credit is due.

Peace

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Jesus’ never had the intention of creating a religion. Neither did James and the Nazarean Party. Like Jesus, they would have regarded it as blasphemy. Like Jesus, they were devout Jews, working and preaching established Judaic tradition. They were also seeking to restore their religion to its original purity. But they would not have created a new system which would become its nemesis.

I found this to be interesting on two counts. First off I hadn't thought of this prior to viewing it here, and secondly no one even bothered saying anything about this. I'm actually curious if anyone of the Christian faith has anything interesting to say about it.

Peace

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IMAnonymous,Jun 12 2005, 02:01 PM]

I made no such demand. I stated you must show that more than one letter has been altered if you wish to argue more than one letter has been altered. To claim that altering one letter makes all his other letters doubtful, is to argue that every letter ever written by anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world, is also of doubtful origin.

I could go on citing forgeries in paul,s letter.

Colossians was written by Paul at around the same time as Philemon, either from Rome shortly before Paul's death (59-62 A.D.), or perhaps abit earlier from Ephesus (54-56 A.D.). A few commentators cast some doubt on the authorship of Paul to this letter, or perhaps state that it was modified later due to non-Pauline theological statements it contains.

In general, on comparing the Epistle with Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians, it will be seen that the style, especially in the earlier part, is heavy and complicated. It contains no sudden questions, no crushing dilemmas, no vehement outbursts of sweeping Pauline eloquence. Some of the sentences are long and involved, and though the whole is set forth in a lofty and noble strain, the presentment is uniform and not quite in the manner, say, of Galatians. Hence it is objected that it could not have been written by St. Paul

Many of St. Paul's favorite expressions are wanting. From eight to a dozen words not infrequently used by him in earlier writings are absent from this short Epistle and about a dozen connecting particles, which he employs elsewhere, are also missing.

It is objected that the Epistle contains many strange words, nowhere else used by St. Paul. That, however, is precisely what we should expect in an Epistle of St. Paul.

It has objected that the exalted idea of Christ presented in the Epistle could not have been written by St. Paul.

The principal objection to the Epistle is its great similarity to Ephesians. Davidson stated that out of 155 verses in the latter Epistle 78 were identical with Colossians.

Most of these objections are answered by quoting other letters as genuine.In this way all letters are defended,by taking the other as authentic.

But this procedure makes all of them faulty to some extent.

Even christian admit that marcion altered many of Paul,s letter.They have not been restored to original form.

Instead, I choose to reject the added verses and then consider what's left to either stand, or fall, based on it's own merit.

I know you think that early church being trinatrian,they added many verses in their favours.But my question is about the message of Jesus to gentiles.How do you know that with the failure of Jesus to refine Jews,Paul didnot made his religion progentile,as you call it?.

Colossians 3

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming

11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

.

Are these concepts from Jesus?I donot know if jews were even allowed to own slaves.And this violence cannot be from Jesus.

I would agree that Paul took a message that Jesus intended for the Jews and took it to the Gentiles. However, the Jews rejected the message. Can someone else pick up the rejected message and believe in it? After all, are not the Gentiles intitled to the table s[Edited Out]s the Jews throw away? If so, perhaps we are entitled. Paul claims Jesus gave him permission, and even the order, to take up the message to the Gentiles.

Jesus gave paul prmission to preach to gentiles,but himself never does it himself!Christians claim Jesus knew he will be crucified,but he did,nt knew about the failure of his mission to Jews?

This is why it's hard to forge Paul. No one else but he could think like this. In verses like this, Paul argued, in his own warped way, that the Law itself served as a temptation to break the Law. He did not know sin until he knew the Law. If someone was going to alter Paul's letters, it's verses like this that they'd be changing. 

Why?Nothing succeed like success.Paul was successful where Jesus was not.Jesus failed to give Jews the message to refine the laws or Islam.Islam is mainly Moses law that have been refined.

Anyway paul changed his teaching and preached to gentiles.Gentiles would have never accepted the Jewish law,they hated them for money laundering,so Laws were abolished by Paul.

And the early church supported this success.

The argument he was a complete nut can be made. Jesus promised Paul he would protect him from "this/his" people. I've never bothered to look up the original Greek, but I'm willing to bet it translates to "his people". If so, Paul was promised protection from Jesus from both Jews and Rome, since Paul was a Roman citizen. Yet Paul was beheaded by Rome.  If so, Trinitarians have a problem here.  Jesus didn't keep his word which he should if he actually spoke to Paul.  Unfortunately, I can't claim a problem. If God and Jesus aren't one, as you and I agree, by what authority can Jesus have made this promise to Paul?  Only God could make such a promise - In which case Paul was lucky to live as long as he did.

I agree with you.This making of human beings as divine is a pagan practise and it goes against the scheme of God.Quran puts t in this way

If We had sent unto thee a written (message)

on parchment, so that they could touch it with

their hands, the unbelievers would have been sure

to say: "This is nothing but obvious magic!"

They say: "Why is not an angel sent down to

him?" If we did send down an angel, the matter

would be settled at once, and no respite would be

granted them If We had made it an angel,

We should have sent him as a man, and We should

certainly have caused them confusion in a matter

which they have already covered with confusion.

Mocked were (many) apostles before thee; but

their scoffers were hemmed in by the thing that

they mocked - Qur'an Surah 32:2-3

The letter in its entirety shows that Paul was accused of looking foolish in preaching these differences - And that the Nazareans had not accused him of heresy. He then defends himself of being a fool (and not a heretic) by boasting. You have claimed that the Nazareans, especially James, found him to be a heretic, when they made no such claim at all, and even sent a letter supporting him, and you also have not made your case for why James is superior to Paul in judgement.

Modern historians of the early Christian churches tend to place James in the tradition of Jewish Christianity, which was more conservative than the tradition Paul was part of refered to as Pauline Christianity; where Paul famously emphasized faith over actions or observance of Mosaic Law, which he considered a burden, James is thought to have espoused the opposite position which is derogatively called Judaizing. One corpus commonly cited as proof of this are the Recognitions and Homilies of Clement (also known as the Clementine literature), versions of a novel that has been dated to as early as the 2nd century, where James appears as a saintly figure who is assaulted by an unnamed enemy some modern critics think may be Paul.

Robert Eisenman has set forth a thesis that James and the observant Christian Jews were marginalized by Paul and the Gentile Christians who followed him, a thesis that has been widely criticized for his recreation of the hostile skirmishes between Jewish and Pauline Christianity, relating his reconstruction to "proto-Christian" elements of the Essenes, as represented in the Dead Sea scrolls. Most of the criticism deconstructs as Pauline apologetics, but Eisenman is equally harsh on the Christians at Jerusalem, whom he portrays as a nationalistic, messianic, priestly, and xenophobic sect of ultra-legal pietists.

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IMAnonymous,Jun 12 2005, 02:01 PM]

I could go on citing forgeries in paul,s letter.

Colossians was written by Paul at around the same time as Philemon, either from Rome shortly before Paul's death (59-62 A.D.), or perhaps abit earlier from Ephesus (54-56 A.D.). A few commentators cast some doubt on the authorship of Paul to this letter, or perhaps state that it was modified later due to non-Pauline theological statements it contains.

    In general, on comparing the Epistle with Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians, it will be seen that the style, especially in the earlier part, is heavy and complicated. It contains no sudden questions, no crushing dilemmas, no vehement outbursts of sweeping Pauline eloquence. Some of the sentences are long and involved, and though the whole is set forth in a lofty and noble strain, the presentment is uniform and not quite in the manner, say, of Galatians. Hence it is objected that it could not have been written by St. Paul

    Many of St. Paul's favorite expressions are wanting. From eight to a dozen words not infrequently used by him in earlier writings are absent from this short Epistle and about a dozen connecting particles, which he employs elsewhere, are also missing.

      It is objected that the Epistle contains many strange words, nowhere else used by St. Paul. That, however, is precisely what we should expect in an Epistle of St. Paul.

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I find most of these types of scholarly observations are well founded. As your own argument shows these alterations are 1) made in the form of additions 2) easily spotted because Paul is simply too unique otherwise. None of us could simply sit down and write like Paul. If Muhammad was a poet who could not be duplicated then, likewise, Paul was a madman who could not be duplicated. It's rather like the trinitarian verses that were added to the New Testament. They are additions to the text and you can spot them because Jesus is too unique to forge. The forgery stands out. Jesus cannot say he will be seated at the right hand side of God in one verse and then say he is God in another. The forgery falls on its own merit.

    It has objected that the exalted idea of Christ presented in the Epistle could not have been written by St. Paul.

      The principal objection to the Epistle is its great similarity to Ephesians. Davidson stated that out of 155 verses in the latter Epistle 78 were identical with Colossians.

    Most of these objections are answered by quoting other letters as genuine.In this way all letters are defended,by taking the other as authentic.

    But this procedure makes all of them faulty to some extent.

 

  Even christian admit that marcion altered many of Paul,s letter.They have not been restored to original form.

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Most everyone agrees that Colossians is more than one letter combined. If it included his Ephesians letter you'll get 78 out of 155 verses reading the same just as you describe.

As for Marcion altering "many" of Paul's letters, that would require that Marcion have gotten hold of "many" of Paul's letters. That's doubtful. It also requires that Marcion have a reason for altering Paul's letters. That's doubtful also, considering he was one of Paul's greatest advocates.

      I know you think that early church being trinatrian,they added many verses in their favours.But my question is about the message of Jesus to gentiles.How do you know that with the failure of Jesus to refine Jews,Paul didnot made his religion progentile,as you call it?

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Verses have, indeed, been added.

And Paul did make his religion pro-Gentile.

Did he do it with, or without, God's permission?

Colossians 3

        5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming

11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Are these concepts from Jesus?I donot know if jews were even allowed to own slaves.And this violence cannot be from Jesus.

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Romans owned slaves.

I don't see the violence you're referring to.

Jesus gave paul prmission to preach to gentiles,but himself never does it himself!Christians claim Jesus knew he will be crucified,but he did,nt knew about the failure of his mission to Jews?

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Christians believe Jesus knew he would fail. That is why he prayed three times to have his fate taken away.

But you're correct. Jesus never preached to the Gentiles and considered them dogs. But the Jews rejected his message which made the coming of Jesus a complete waste of his and God's time. If the Gentiles accepted the message, even if not meant for them, it no longer becomes a complete waste of God's and Jesus' time. Something positive came from it. Should we expect God to reject this positive result because it was Sam instead of Samberg who heard it?

      Why?Nothing succeed like success.Paul was successful where Jesus was not.Jesus failed to give Jews the message to refine the laws or Islam.Islam is mainly Moses law that have been refined.

    Anyway paul changed his teaching and preached to gentiles.Gentiles would have never accepted the Jewish law,they hated them for money laundering,so Laws were abolished by Paul.

      And the early church supported this success.

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That suggests the Gentiles would have hated James' message as well (And perhaps they did?).

Modern historians of the early Christian churches tend to place James in the tradition of Jewish Christianity, which was more conservative than the tradition Paul was part of refered to as Pauline Christianity; where Paul famously emphasized faith over actions or observance of Mosaic Law, which he considered a burden, James is thought to have espoused the opposite position which is derogatively called Judaizing.

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I happen to be more of a follower of James versus Paul (Just as I follow the Book of Mark and not John.). However, I don't think that James was as "conservative" as you think, considering, according to the Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities 20, 9, 1 ¶201-203), he was stoned to death by the Jews under the high priest Ananus II in A.D. 62. Nor do I think that Paul didn't preach works. The difference between them seems to be that James didn't preach faith at all - And preached that your works demonstrated your faith. Whereas Paul preached faith first and then that works would follow. If one follows Paul through to the end (works), one achieves James' position. Where a follower of Paul's does not achieve James' position is when he accepts Paul's preachings, belief in resurrection, and accepts the teachings of Jesus - but then produces no works. Such a person will still believe he has gained entry to heaven. The critical question is, will he? Or did Paul lie?

Quite honestly, I wasn't going to wait until I died to find out. I had to make a decision between what Paul preached and what Jesus preached. I started out on faith, believing in Paul, but when I read why the "rich man" wouldn't enter heaven, I realized I wasn't meeting the standards Jesus set for that man. The Book of James said your works prove your faith and without works there is no faith.

I agree with him. That doesn't mean I disagree with Paul. However, I received no blessing from God for my faith when I accepted Paul's preachings. Yet I did receive blessings for my works from the preachings of James. I can't ignore this and so I have to question Paul's promise based on faith. Had I not progressed from faith to works would I have entered heaven? According to Jesus, No. According to Paul, yes. I'm going with Jesus. Not only is he a higher authority but I have already received blessings in this life from following him.

What is the difference? Paul baited his mousetrap with a picture of cheese and what he caught was a picture of a mouse. Jesus used no bait on his mousetrap at all - And caught nothing. You know before you step into the trap that you have to give up house, home, and family to follow him. You have to produce works. That's not a very attractive mousetrap and I didn't want to stick my finger in it. I preferred to be a picture of a mouse and go with Paul. James, in his letter, was addressing the real mice and not the pictures of mice - And one thing about pictures of mice is that they all burn real easy.

So did Paul lie?

I don't think so. I think instead that those who hear Paul's message of faith fool themselves. Paul did tell them to do good works but he seperated faith from works. James didn't. Without works there is no faith. And I agree with James. Those who actually have faith will do works. Those that don't never had faith. They're not real mice. They're pictures of mice.

Those who truly accepted Paul's message of faith will do good works. The rest will not which, according to James, means they really had no faith to begin with. The liar isn't Paul. The liar is the one who says he accepts Paul's message but then does no good works. :(

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MAnonymous,Jun 17 2005, 02:37 AM]

As for Marcion altering "many" of Paul's letters, that would require that Marcion have gotten hold of "many" of Paul's letters.  That's doubtful.  It also requires that Marcion have a reason for altering Paul's letters.  That's doubtful also, considering he was one of Paul's greatest advocates.

Latourette concurs that Marcion appears to have been the first to gather some of the Christian writings into a well-defined collection and so speeded the formation of an authoritative Orthodox canon.Latourette, 134. Walker, 145: “It was to him [Marcion] that we owe the terms Old Testament and New Testament… His suggested emendation of the New Testament constituted the earliest textual criticism of the Bible.” Brackets mine. “According to Von Harnack, Marcion was the real creator of the Catholic Church; “by his organisational and theological ideas and by his activity Marcion gave the decisive impetus to the creation of the early Catholic church and provided it with a model, what is more, he deserves the credit for the first grasping and carrying out a canonical collection of Christian writings, the New Testament.” Von Harnack A. Marcion, das Evangelium vom fremden Gott, 2nd edn. (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs Verlag, 1924), 114-115 cited in Rumscheidht, Martin (Ed.), ‘Adolf Von Harnack: Liberal Theology at its height,’ John de Gruchy, gen. ed., The Making of Modern Theology (London: Collins, 1989), 28:

Paul, Marcion claimed, was the only true apostle and gathered together ten of his epistles, excluding 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus, from which he carefully removed any ‘Jewish corruptions

’F.F. Bruce, The Canon Of Scripture. (Downers Grove: IVP, 1988), 138-139. “Christ’s earliest apostles proved failures, but he raised up Paul after them.” Edwin C. Blackman, Marcion and his Influence. (London: SPCK, 1948), 48. “Marcion claimed that only Paul understood the true nature of Christ’s mission.” Blackman, 96. “In over-straining the difference between Paul and the other apostles, he was the forerunner of the Tubingen school of critics.” Schaff, 486.

About the year AD 138, Justin Martyr (a resident of Rome) wrote about Marcion's unusually long and effective teaching career. "And there is Marcion, a man of Pontus, who is even at this day alive, and teaching his disciples to believe in some other god greater than the Creator. And he, by the aid of devils, has caused many of every nation to speak blasphemies, and to deny that God is the maker of this universe, and to assert that some other being, greater than He, has done greater works. All who take these opinions from these men are, as we before said, called Christian" (Justin's [First] Apology. I.26. ANF. vol. 1. p. 171). The reason for dating this statement to the year AD 138 is discoverable in Blackman's study (Marcion and His Influence. p. 21).

One of the most startling things in Justin's unfavorable review of Marcion is the surprising appearance of the word "Christians" as a commonly used title to describe the members of Marcionite churches. By AD 138, Marcionites could be found in "every nation." At this early time, there is some confusion about the correct spelling for "Christian." It is known that Marcion preferred to call Jesus the "Chrestos" (which means the Kind or Helpful One). "… [T]he spelling for 'Chrestos' (=the Good one) [is] derived from an ancient inscription to a Marcionite synagogue" (Daniel Jon Mahar. English Reconstruction and Translation of Marcion's version of To The Galatians. p. 1).

Those 'orthodox' believers who were more allied with the Roman Ecclesia were already at this time proudly bearing the title "Catholic." By the time when The Acts of the Apostles was formally published about the middle of the Second Century, the word "Christian" had become very popular as a designation for believers in Jesus. Because of this, there was needed some kind of explanation about its origin.

Not many know that the Sinaiticus manuscript has a peculiar way of spelling the word Christian. Everywhere this title appears, that Fourth Century manuscript spells it "Chrestian." Vaticanus, a manuscript of the same age, utilizes a slightly transitional spelling: "Chreistian."

This surely is strong evidence about Marcion's real role. Not only is Marcion's original spelling for "Christian" still evident in such important manuscripts, this also indicates directly the strength and extent of Marcionite effects on the entire Christian community, including its scholars. There is still some bifurcation between the words "Catholic" and "Christian" today.

In AD 49, Rome experienced disturbances in the Jewish community that had been provoked by the preaching of "Chrestus" (based on the account of Suetonius in J. Steven's New Eusebius. no. 2, p. 1). "[Aquila] and his wife Priscilla had recently left Italy because an edict of Claudius had expelled all the Jews from Rome" (Acts 18:2, Jerusalem Bible). It seems notable at this time (AD 49) that "Jews" in general were expelled, and not simply followers of "Chrestus" or "Chrestians." "Was it because at this early date the Roman authorities did not or could not clearly differentiate between the Christians and the Jews?" (Wilson. Marcion… p. 25 ). The presence of the Gentile title "Chrestus" in Rome implies also the presence of an accompanying Gentile-oriented Gospel. Some Jews seem to have loudly voiced a degree of intolerance upon hearing this proclamation of "Chrestus."

In Vaticanus and Sinaiticus it is not possible to discover how Jesus' main title (Christ) was spelled. A scribal device called "nomina sacra" was employed as a emphatic technique to highlight special words. The highlighted words were shortened. Because of this, the scribes left out the main vowel every time. Most Greek editions restore the vowel as an iota ("i").

By making a back formation from the Sinaiticus' "Chrestian," the word "Chrestos" appears as the proper title for Jesus. Through this logical method, it can be reasonably argued that Jesus' normal title should be fully spelled "Chrestos" throughout Sinaiticus.

Besides the two oldest Greek New Testaments from the Fourth Century, and in addition to the oldest dated church inscription (AD 318), there is an abundance of ancient testimony that shows that the title "Chrestus" for Jesus was very popular among "common" Christians.

The two titles "Chrestus" or "Chrestian" are referred to in the following written sources: Tertullian (AD 210), The Eighth Sibyl (AD 200), Theophilos of Antioch (AD 170), Marcus (AD 145), Apocalypse of Elijah (AD 100), Suetonius (AD 124) and Tacitus (AD 116). There is even a disputed inscription (now lost) from Pompei (AD 79) that is believed to have contained a reference to this lost title of Jesus.

The ruling theologians of orthodoxy denounced the spelling "Chrestus" as based on ignorance. Lactantius (AD 310) said: "The ignorant are accustomed to call Him 'Chrestus'" (ANF. Vol. 7, p. 106).

To the simple believers in Jesus, He is Christ, the Good Shepherd, who seeks and saves the lost. To the intellectuals, He is Christ, the just King, who casts the sinner into hell.

As a token of His merciful character, Jesus was once honored with the title "Chrestus" (which means benevolent one). This probably was the original meaning (and spelling) for Jesus' title in the oldest New Testament, the one that Marcion published.

The theological reason for the Orthodox scribes carefully and stealthily introducing "Christ" as Jesus' main title is explainable from its etymology. "Christ" in Greek means "anointed" (or royal). This meaning matches that of the Hebrew word "Messiah." The Church Fathers preferred Jesus to be known as Israel's coming King.

"Paul put Jesus Christ in the forefront of his preaching, and they ['the early Gentile churches'] can hardly have done otherwise. It is no accident, indeed, that the adherents of the new faith were early called Christians" (Arthur Cushman McGiffert. The God of the Early Christians. p. 44).

Adolf von Harnack represented Marcion as the creator of the Catholic Church. This characterization mainly refers to the Roman ecclesia's response to Marcion's evangelism. The rapid growth of Marcionite churches across the Roman Empire in the first two decades of the Second Century motivated the presbytery of the "great" Roman congregation to form a more comprehensive hierarchy and outreach.

Before this time, Christianity was often viewed as indistinguishable from Judaism. Marcion's effort called for a clear distinction. Afterwards, Judeo-Christianity became isolated so that it had to take an independent course. This was predictable because its strong Jewish anchor made it totally incompatible with Marcion's idea of New Testament Christianity.

"… [O]nly after Marcion did those in the great church begin the purposeful work of deriving from heaven the holy church, … and of combining the congregations here on earth into an actual community and unity on the basis of a fixed doctrine that is rooted in the New Testament, just as Marcion did. This demonstrates that by means of his organizational and theological conceptions and by his activity Marcion gave the decisive impetus towards the creation of the old catholic church and provided the pattern for it" (Adolf von Harnack. Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God. Labyrinth Press 1990 [1924]. p. 131,132).

"… [C]atholicism is constructed as a defense against Marcion…" (ibid p. ix).

The idea of Christian independence from Judaism became quickly popular. From this point on, Catholicism grew in many ways. Many additional modifications would be made until much of the simplicity evident in Marcion's day became either obscured or entirely lost. By keeping the law about Jewish monotheism as its chief doctrine (as is attested in the creeds), Catholicism opened the door to regain various other features borrowed from the religion of the Old Testament. By following the pattern of ancient Israel, Catholicism began to augment its hierarchy, its ritualism and its animosity towards independent thinkers

SUMMARY

Prior to Marcion's revival of Paul's theology, Christianity was much identified with Judaism. At that time, the Christian Bible was only the Old Testament. After Marcion openly published the first New Testament in Rome (AD 116), there arose four great divisions in Christianity. These groups were denominated: the Gnostics, the Catholics, the Judeo-Christians and the Marcionites.

Before Marcion published the first truly Christian Bible, Christianity already had been divided into two groups. In Paul's words, there were the "Judaizers" and there were the Pneumatics (the "Spiritual"). The Judaizers were more allied with Peter and James. The Pneumatics upheld Paul's Gospel of freedom.

There are at least eight notable reactions to Marcion that indirectly may be attributed to his early work and mission. After he evangelized the Roman Empire in the Second Century, there began to surface several energetic responses to Marcion's work:

1. The Orthodox began to expand his New Testament,

2. Such ideas as Church Tradition, the Rule of Faith and Apostolic Succession were introduced in order to undermine Marcion's insistence on sola scriptura. These formulations helped crystallize the concept of Orthodoxy (or Catholicism).

3. After Marcion commenced his evangelistic crusade, a significant portion of Christian literature became devoted to apologetics (or polemical defenses) of Orthodoxy (correct doctrines).

4. Forgeries of Christian semi-scriptures mushroomed. Some of these pseudepigrapha (false writings) were composed to counteract some aspect of Marcion's theology.

5. The Apostles' Creed is generally recognized as a forgery. Some scholars, such as Arthur C. McGiffert, recognize it as composed specially to temper Marcion's theism.

6. Even the extra-Biblical and incomprehensible word "Trinity" may be seen as a useful device invented to help fend off Marcionite logic.

7. The Inquisition was originally designed as a mechanism to deal with the dualistic Albigensians who had taken up some of Marcion's ideas.

8. The Rosary, according to Catholic Tradition, was also originally designed as an instrument to aid in the battle against Albigensians.

Romans owned slaves. 

22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Colossians was written by Paul at around the same time as Philemon, either from Rome shortly before Paul's death (59-62 A.D.), or perhaps abit earlier from Ephesus (54-56 A.D.). A few commentators cast some doubt on the authorship of Paul to this letter, or perhaps state that it was modified later due to non-Pauline theological statements it contains. The reason Paul wrote this letter is due at least in part, to his concern about a runaway slave named Onesimus. Additionally, Paul is concerned various false teachers in Colossae.

Paul concerned about a slave?And to please Romans he made christanity ,pro slavery,which lasted until abolished by Abe Lincoln.

I don't see the violence you're referring to.

.

Colossians 3

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming

11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

This cannot be lover Jesus speaking,but the hater Paul pleasing Romans,who used to put humans before hungry lions.

But you're correct. Jesus never preached to the Gentiles and considered them dogs.  But the Jews rejected his message which made the coming of Jesus a complete waste of his and God's time.  If the Gentiles accepted the message, even if not meant for them, it no longer becomes a complete waste of God's and Jesus' time.  Something positive came from it.  Should we expect God to reject this positive result because it was Sam instead of Samberg who heard it?

25I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The mystery could only be known to amazing survivors,Jews.God could not be foolish to send his Prophet or son to Jews,when he knew Jesus would fail,but to save the real message to be preached to Gentiles by a Jewish convert.

  That suggests the Gentiles would have hated James' message as well (And perhaps they did?).

Yes,because James taught a refined Judaism,brought by Jesus.Paul corrupted the Islam or Judo Christianity of Jesus,to make it appealing to gentiles.Paul was a genius not a madman,his thorn in flesh or epilepsy,didn't impaired his thinking process.

I happen to be more of a follower of James versus Paul (Just as I follow the Book of Mark and not John.). 

I have always wondered why there are thirteen letters of Paul in Bible,as opposed to one from James,whose authorship is itself disputed.

However, I don't think that James was as "conservative" as you think, considering, according to the Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities 20, 9, 1 201-203), he was stoned to death by the Jews under the high priest Ananus II in A.D. 62. 

A debated passage, often characterized as a Christian interpolation, in Josephus's Jewish Antiquities records his death in Jerusalem as having occurred after the death of the procurator Porcius Festus, yet before Clodius Albinus took office (Antiquities 20,9)— which has thus been dated to AD 62

Nor do I think that Paul didn't preach works.  The difference between them seems to be that James didn't preach faith at all - And preached that your works demonstrated your faith. Whereas Paul preached faith first and then that works would follow. If one follows Paul through to the end (works), one achieves James' position.

Paul had several major impacts on the nature of the Christian religion. First was the concept that the death and resurrection of Jesus superseded the value of the Mosaic Law, a belief that is often expressed as "Jesus died for our sins." It is unclear how much of this idea is original to Paul; Jerome notes the existence in the 4th century of a Christian sect in Syria called the Ebionites who still observed the Mosaic Law, thus suggesting at least some Christians may not have believed in the salvatory qualities of the Passion. The Didache doesn't have this concept. The Ethiopian Orthodox, who claim to be the only church free of Marcionism, still observe some Mosaic Law.

Where a follower of Paul's does not achieve James' position is when he accepts Paul's preachings, belief in resurrection, and accepts the teachings of Jesus - but then produces no works. Such a person will still believe he has gained entry to heaven. The critical question is, will he? Or did Paul lie?

In his books The Mythmaker and Paul and Hellenism, Talmudic scholar Hyam Maccoby proposed a theory that Paul was actually a Gentile raised in an environment influenced by the popular Hellenistic mystery religions centered on dying and resurrected savior deities, who later converted to Judaism, hoping to become a Pharisee scholar. He found work in Jerusalem as a police officer of the Sadducee High Priest, who was at that time a de facto Roman quisling in Jerusalem. Paul's work persecuting the enemies of the High Priest led to an internal conflict in his mind, which manifested itself while he was travelling to Damascus on a covert mission. Maccoby believes that Paul's revelation was thus actually a resolution of his divided self; Paul subsequently fused the mystery religions, Judaism and the Passion of Jesus into an entirely new belief, centered on the death of Jesus as a mystical atoning sacrifice. Maccoby considers Paul's claims to a Jewish background and Pharisaic education to be false, claiming that a number of passages in Paul's writings betray his ignorance of the Jewish Law. Maccoby also contends that Paul invented many of the key concepts of the Christian religion, and that Gospels and other later Christian documents were written to reflect Paul's views rather than the authentic life and teaching of Jesus. Maccoby questions Paul's integrity as well:

Scholars feel that, however objective their enquiry is supposed to be, they must always preserve an attitude of deep reverence towards Paul, and never say anything to suggest that he may have bent the truth at times, though the evidence is strong enough in various parts of his life-story that he was not above deception when he felt it warranted by circumstances. (Maccoby, 1986)

Quite honestly, I wasn't going to wait until I died to find out. I had to make a decision between what Paul preached and what Jesus preached. I started out on faith, believing in Paul, but when I read why the "rich man" wouldn't enter heaven, I realized I wasn't meeting the standards Jesus set for that man. The Book of James said your works prove your faith and without works there is no faith.

I agree with him. That doesn't mean I disagree with Paul. However, I received no blessing from God for my faith when I accepted Paul's preachings. Yet I did receive blessings for my works from the preachings of James. I can't ignore this and so I have to question Paul's promise based on faith. Had I not progressed from faith to works would I have entered heaven? According to Jesus, No. According to Paul, yes. I'm going with Jesus. Not only is he a higher authority but I have already received blessings in this life from following him.

What is the difference? Paul baited his mousetrap with a picture of cheese and what he caught was a picture of a mouse. Jesus used no bait on his mousetrap at all - And caught nothing. You know before you step into the trap that you have to give up house, home, and family to follow him. You have to produce works. That's not a very attractive mousetrap and I didn't want to stick my finger in it. I preferred to be a picture of a mouse and go with Paul. James, in his letter, was addressing the real mice and not the pictures of mice - And one thing about pictures of mice is that they all burn real easy.

So did Paul lie?

Therefore I remark that if the law gives us a knowledge and understanding of the Christ, then how can the law be denied? To deny the law is to deny Jesus. And if the Living Christ comes to us through the law, who is to be our salvation, then how can the law be corrupt? For if the law is corrupt, so is Messiah, and there is no redemption.

In truth, the way of our salvation is through the law, and in the words of scripture which men consider 'holy', those things on which we will be judged are of the law. Does not James, Jesus' brother, agree with this logic?

"Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith... Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?... You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone... For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead."

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; and from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, and by what they had done... Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done." (The New Testament: Revised Standard Version: Revelation 20:11-14)

"Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to pay every one for what he has done." (The New Testament: Revised Standard Version: Revelations 22:12)

Yet, Saul of Tarsus, had grown so powerful that even Jesus' disciples were not enough to overcome him. Today, no one in the Church dares to challenge the awesome, willful, spirit of Paul.

He was deceitful.

He purposely lied to the Elders of the Church and the Apostles about what he was preaching concerning the Law. On top of this, he went through a sacred religious ritual of purification, on false pretenses. He had purposely lied, and when at a distance from Jerusalem, he openly scorned the Twelve and went on preaching 'his' message.

Jesus is very distinct when it comes to validating the Law, and pronouncing the punishment for those who teach others to ignore God's commandments.

"For verily I say unto you, Til heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven..." (The Authorized Version of King James: Matthew 5:18-19)

And then Paul had the audacity, the impudence, to teach that, "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord... For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."

This student has come to believe that it was all done out of Paul's contempt, his hatred, for the Apostles, the Twelve.

Perhaps the title he was searching for was not 'apostle,' but 'apostate.'

Why go on with the torment. This student has not supplied the charges of himself, but of Paul's written word, they are in black and white. Our problem lies in the fact that it is too late to erase the false path upon which the Church has been led. To do so now would mean the total collapse of Christianity as we have known it for two thousand years, for every doctrine the religion holds to is from Paul.

The sacrament of Communion is from Paul.

Paul would have us believe that he received the custom from the Lord. It is agreed that he had not been present at the Last Supper. Professional theologians insist that if we take Paul's words literally, we would have to believe with that Paul received his instructions in a vision from the risen Lord. For a more pointed statement one must read the following notations from professional theologians.

"...and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." (I Corinthians 11:25; RSV)

Mark's Gospel has no way to verbalize this is my body, but he does have the invitation to eat. That is lacking in Paul, and in its place there stands an order to repeat the act in remembrance of Christ. Professional interpreter's and theologians tell us that no Gospel contains this; the text of Luke (22:19b-20) is believed to be a later insertion based on I Corinthians. (The Interpreter's Bible; Volume 10: Page 137)

The body of Christ, the body of believers, God incarnate, the pre-existence of Jesus, that Jesus is human yet divine, that his spilled blood is the means of our salvation, all of this is from Paul. To admit to this fraud at such a late date would be disastrous. So in order to defend its indefensible position, the ministry, the priesthood, does not teach those portions of Paul's letters that we have critiqued. Their inept response is that if Paul wrote a letter addressed as an apostle, then he was an apostle.

Has any Christian ever heard a sermon preached on any of the subjects we have mentioned herein? Has any Christian ever heard a position taken by the clergy which would openly force a decision between, Jesus and Paul? Paul and the Apostles? Paul or God?

The results of Paul's activities on this earth have caused the disappearance of the Jerusalem Church and the religion practiced by Jesus' chosen Apostles. It has led to a religion based on false precepts and a faulty doctrine. It is a house built on sand.

It seemed strange to this student that even the gospels could be corrupted by Paul's touch, as indeed they have. But to see two thousand years of the generations of mankind who have suffered due to the results of his work, is devastating.

His desire for power, authoritative dominion, and his decisions under the pretense of that absolute control, have led the Church to practice excommunication, genocide, imprisonment, and death for unbelievers.

"...each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.... If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through the fire." (I Corinthians 2:13-15; RSV)

The 'fire' that he lit burned innocents at the stake; they were hanged, strangled, impaled, beheaded, and stoned to death... so easily misled, so many died, all for the desires of one man.

And of the power that led him? It must be considered Satan's greatest victory since Adam and Eve were banished from the garden.

the pauline conspiracy

Those who truly accepted Paul's message of faith will do good works. The rest will not which, according to James, means they really had no faith to begin with. The liar isn't Paul. The liar is the one who says he accepts Paul's message but then does no good works.

Let's look at how Hank Hanegraaff presents the Catholic position:

We are saved by grace alone through faith infused works.

I think his articulation of the Catholic position probably needs just a bit of clarification.

With the Protestants, Catholics believe that salvation is by grace alone, such that all people who will be saved are saved by Christ, and they can rightly say that God is the initiator of salvation and the one who brings the work to completion. Salvation is a free gift and we do not earn it through our works.

Likewise, with the Protestants, Catholics see faith as a necessary component of salvation.Christians must trust the one who started the work in us to bring it to completion.

However, Catholics speak of salvation in terms more akin to a process. There is not a single moment which one can point to where one is considered right with God. Indeed, to the Roman Catholic, as long as you are alive on earth, God is still working out your own salvation with you. There is God's initiation and then there is the response of the human person. This is not a one time deal, but an ongoing relationship made possible by what Jesus did on the cross.

With the Protestant, the Catholic wants to emphasize that Christian need to trust God in this process, which is what faith is. However, the Catholic does not see faith as a single act on a particular date where you know that you have already been saved.

Instead, the Catholic speaks of the "born again" experience as a beginning that started with baptism, but continues throughout life until death. Only at the moment of death will the final result be known with absolute certitude.

Catholics go on to say that grace is defined as God's life entering into the soul. With this act of God, faith, hope and love are infused in the soul so that good works are inspired by God. These grace inspired works have merit because it is God inspiring, and even to some extent, doing the works in a believer.

Yet, because the subject being saved is cooperating with this grace in the performance of the works, the merit is rightly applied to that individual as an application of the completed work of the cross to the individual. The Catholic also maintains that a person who is not doing good works may not have grace operating in her or him.

Thus, good works are necessary to salvation.

Catholics in the theological academy go so far as to speak of a principle of "double justification". What is meant by this is that there is an initial starting point in the born again experience we associate with baptism. This initial justification is very much like Protestants describe. It comes as a completely unmerited gift that we do nothing to earn or prepare for (which is partially why Catholics baptize babies). In this initial justification, all past sin is immediately covered and it is at this point that Catholics believe God's life and the virtues of faith, hope, and love are infused in the soul.

After initial justification, there is a second justification or sanctification that occurs. Protestants also speak of sanctification, but for Catholics, this second justification or sanctification is necessary, where to Protestants, it is an unnecessary result of the initial justification (and the only justification to the Protestants).

Protestant Justification:

Extrinsic

External

Credited

Imputed

Forensic

A Foreign Righteousness

A Covering

Justification is a Legal Declaration

Grace is God's favor or benevolence

Catholic Justification:

Intrinsic

Interior

Ontological

Substantial

Real

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Paul, Marcion claimed, was the only true apostle and gathered together ten of his epistles, excluding 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus, from which he carefully removed any ‘Jewish corruptions

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Paul's letters were published by Marcion in 140 AD. They had already been used by then for the writings of the Books of Revelation, Hebrews, I Clement, I Peter, the letters of Ignatius and Polycarp, the Gospel of John. When Marcion removed his "Jewish corruptions" it was no secret of what he had done. It is a matter of history.

Paul concerned about a slave?And to please Romans he made christanity ,pro slavery,which lasted until abolished by Abe Lincoln.

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Slavery existed in Palestine while Jesus was alive also and yet there is no record of Jesus saying anything about it.

Colossians 3

        5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming

11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

This cannot be lover Jesus speaking,but the hater Paul pleasing Romans,who used to put humans before hungry lions.

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He doesn't say to put to death "whoever" has an uneartly nature. He said to put to death your own unearthly nature.

As for Jesus never having said such a thing:

Matthew 18:7-9

"Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell"

The mystery could only be known to amazing survivors,Jews.God could not be foolish to send his Prophet or son to Jews,when he knew Jesus would fail,but to save the real message to be preached to Gentiles by a Jewish convert.

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What other explanation exists for God sending Jesus when he knows he will fail? What the Jews don't want, the crumbs can go to the dogs.

Paul had several major impacts on the nature of the Christian religion. First was the concept that the death and resurrection of Jesus superseded the value of the Mosaic Law, a belief that is often expressed as "Jesus died for our sins." It is unclear how much of this idea is original to Paul;

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Jesus himself had little use for Mosaic law other than the obligation to fullfill it. He spoke out against parts of it, never cited or preached the entire Ten Commandments, and the only person he instructed to follow them he afterwards told his Disciples would not enter heaven.

Maccoby considers Paul's claims to a Jewish background and Pharisaic education to be false, claiming that a number of passages in Paul's writings betray his ignorance of the Jewish Law. Maccoby also contends that Paul invented many of the key concepts of the Christian religion, and that Gospels and other later Christian documents were written to reflect Paul's views rather than the authentic life and teaching of Jesus. Maccoby questions Paul's integrity as well:

Scholars feel that, however objective their enquiry is supposed to be, they must always preserve an attitude of deep reverence towards Paul, and never say anything to suggest that he may have bent the truth at times, though the evidence is strong enough in various parts of his life-story that he was not above deception when he felt it warranted by circumstances. (Maccoby, 1986)

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His argument has had 29 years to take hold and hasn't. A review of his book shows that Maccoby believed that Paul taught that God was evil and that Paul was an anti-Semite and a Gnostic.

Nonetheless, I find some of his arguments to be of merit - such as his suspicions of Paul's claim to being a Pharisee.

Therefore I remark that if the law gives us a knowledge and understanding of the Christ, then how can the law be denied? To deny the law is to deny Jesus. And if the Living Christ comes to us through the law, who is to be our salvation, then how can the law be corrupt? For if the law is corrupt, so is Messiah, and there is no redemption.

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I disagree. To accept the law is to deny Jesus. From the Christian view the Law left Jesus nailed to a tree and, according to Deuteronomy, "cursed by God". To accept the Law is to accept that Jesus was cursed by God. Therefore, one of the other has to be rejected - Either the Law or the the belief that Jesus was nailed to a tree. You can't have both. If the law is corrupt then the Messiah came to free us from it and there is redemption.

In truth, the way of our salvation is through the law, and in the words of scripture which men consider 'holy', those things on which we will be judged are of the law. Does not James, Jesus' brother, agree with this logic?

"Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith... Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?... You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone... For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead."

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; and from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, and by what they had done... Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done." (The New Testament: Revised Standard Version: Revelation 20:11-14)

"Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to pay every one for what he has done." (The New Testament: Revised Standard Version: Revelations 22:12)

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There's nothing about being judged by the "law" in the above. The word is "works". The rich man obeyed the law but he had no works. Jesus said he would not gain entry to heaven.

Yet, Saul of Tarsus, had grown so powerful that even Jesus' disciples were not enough to overcome him. Today, no one in the Church dares to challenge the awesome, willful, spirit of Paul.

He was deceitful.

He purposely lied to the Elders of the Church and the Apostles about what he was preaching concerning the Law. On top of this, he went through a sacred religious ritual of purification, on false pretenses. He had purposely lied, and when at a distance from Jerusalem, he openly scorned the Twelve and went on preaching 'his' message.

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They had their chances to refute him for over 30 years and never did. They even sent a letter in support of him.

Jesus is very distinct when it comes to validating the Law, and pronouncing the punishment for those who teach others to ignore God's commandments.

"For verily I say unto you, Til heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven..." (The Authorized Version of King James: Matthew 5:18-19)

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Christians believe "all was fullfiled" when the nails were pounded into place and "heaven and earth passed" when the sun disappeared.

Edited by IMAnonymous

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Paul's letters were published by Marcion in 140 AD. They had already been used by then for the writings of the Books of Revelation, Hebrews, I Clement, I Peter, the letters of Ignatius and Polycarp, the Gospel of John. When Marcion removed his "Jewish corruptions" it was no secret of what he had done. It is a matter of history.

Ignatius was a forgery.

http://www.geocities.com/b_d_muller/ignatius.html

This knowledge of the collected letters of Paul on the part of Clement suggests that we should push the earliest possible date of Clement's letter down ten or fifteen years later than A.D. 75, suggested by Lake as the terminus a quo, although it is not certain exactly when the Pauline letters were collected.

Slavery existed in Palestine while Jesus was alive also and yet there is no record of Jesus saying anything about it.

Jesus was not intrested in Romans,his only intrest was reforming the Jews.

What other explanation exists for God sending Jesus when he knows he will fail? What the Jews don't want, the crumbs can go to the dogs.

Every nation was tested with Islam,only muslims accepted it.

It makes all the diffrence,because dogs will get ill by eating human food. :)

Jesus brought a message for a particular nation not the whole humanity.

In the Jesus movement it's clear that a new understanding has come to the fore. In fact it's slightly odd from certain perspectives. One doesn't normally expect that a Messiah should die and yet we have this ironic message in Paul that in fact the Messiah is the one who has been crucified. Now it's true that one could within a standard Jewish tradition think of the Messiah dying. The difference is that even when a Messiah should go through some sort of death or suffering that the event precipitated by that death should be the coming of the new kingdom.... What we find in Paul, and indeed among most of the early Christians, is a slightly ironic twist of fate that the death of the Messiah doesn't immediately inaugurate the new kingdom, and yet that doesn't seem to diminish their sense of apocalyptic expectation. Paul still thinks it's coming soon. He will go through his entire life thinking the kingdom will come soon but the Messiah had already died.

So when we hear Paul talking about the message of Jesus Christ and him crucified, we're beginning to get for the first time in the New Testament the language that will become the hallmark of all the later Christian tradition. Indeed it's where we get much of the vocabulary that makes Christianity distinctive. The term "Christ" is a title. It's the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messioc and they mean exactly the same thing. They both refer to someone who is anointed. ... It's identifying him as a religious figure in a new way.

...[However] for Paul to use the term "Christ" does not automatically signal that we're dealing within a Christian frame of reference that everyone would have recognized. The term Christ, Messiah, could have been used by any number of different Jewish people and still meant different things. So just to hear that term even in the Greek city like Antioch probably wasn't all that unique, and yet it had to have sparked some interest. It's significant therefore that the Book of Acts tells us that the term "Christian" is a follower of the Messiah or a proponant of some Messiah

Paul's notion that it was possible for gentiles to enter the congregation of God without some of the rules of Judaism interestingly enough seems to be a conviction on his part that comes from his own interpretation of the Jewish scriptures. In fact he gets it mostly from the prophet Isaiah. Paul's message of the conversion of gentiles seems to be predicated on the Isaiah language of what will happen when the kingdom comes when the Messiah has arrived and there will be a light to the nations, "a light to the gentiles." And in that sense Paul views the messianic age having arrived with Jesus as being a window of opportunity for bringing in the gentiles into the elect status alongside the people of Israel. So what Paul is really doing is creating this apocalyptic message of what the kingdom is about to be, and the arrival of the gentiles, the engrafting or integrating of the gentiles who will come to believe in the true God of Israel into the community of Israel as the elect nation, then is one of the hallmarks of the messianic age.

Now that was dirty politics from Paul.Suppose I tell you Imam Mahdi is coming next year?What choice do you have accept to convert?

His argument has had 29 years to take hold and hasn't. A review of his book shows that Maccoby believed that Paul taught that God was evil and that Paul was an anti-Semite and a Gnostic.

That his argument was not very popular,is no reason to abondon it.

According to Hyam Maccoby, Paul was not a Pharisee, nor even a Jew, but a gentile proselyte to Judaism. Maccoby's source for his material is the discredited Christian writer Epiphanius, an Ebionite who wrote 3 centuries after the fact. Paul, according to Maccoby, failed in becoming a Pharisee, and so allied himself to the Sadducees and the High Priest, two groups who enjoyed their privileged status under Roman occupation, and so were in conflict with the Pharisees, who wished to be rid of the Roman oppressors.

Maccoby believes that it was due to a near nervous breakdown that Paul split from this group and formed a new religion, taking ideas such as baptism, the eucharist, christology, the Holy Spirit, and eschatology and melded them with Jewish sacred history, Gnosticism, and the pagan mystery religions.

Jesus, on the other hand, according to Maccoby, taught beliefs which are quite common to Jewish Pharisaical teaching. He was a figure within Judaism and so would not have accepted his own divinity. This, Maccoby says, is clear from the first three Synoptic gospels, but not John, which was written much later, after the evolution of this theology by the early Christians led by Paul.

Maccoby continues by asserting that Jesus never regarded himself as a sacrifice for humanity, a belief which Maccoby contends arose after his death, as it was not part of Jewish theology.

Yet, Maccoby does admit that creating a divine character for Jesus has Jewish roots. Elijah and Enoch were both taken up to heaven, which transcended other human experiences. This well- known Biblical event, he feels, could be the stepping stone to the belief of the divinity of a person who then takes on the divine qualities of God.

There is no root in Judaism, however, for the sacrifice of the divine figure. Jews never worshipped the allegorical concept of God's divine wisdom as found in the book of Proverbs. And nowhere, Maccoby maintains, did Jesus ever make a claim of deity, calling himself instead the Messiah, a title which he maintains was political and which was quite common in those days. In fact, Maccoby believes that much of Jesus's teachings were also political in nature, and it was for this reason that he was finally put to death. Those passages which do point to Jesus' spiritual nature were added later, he says, by Paul and his disciples.

Along those same lines, Maccoby states that Jesus did not wish to abrogate Judaism, but was only in conflict with certain Jewish figures, which is normal within Jewish circles. He neither abrogated the Torah nor reformed it, but interpreted it, and in ways not unlike the Pharisees. For instance, curing sick people on the sabbath is not forbidden by the Mishnah nor the Talmud, which are both Pharisaic writings.

Maccoby believes that the ideas attributed to Jesus would have appalled him, had he known about them, therefore they could only have been attributed to him after his death. The gospels were written 40 years and later after the death of Jesus, thus Maccoby contends that there was plenty of time for these theological ideas to evolve within the Christian community.

I disagree. To accept the law is to deny Jesus. From the Christian view the Law left Jesus nailed to a tree and, according to Deuteronomy, "cursed by God". To accept the Law is to accept that Jesus was cursed by God. Therefore, one of the other has to be rejected - Either the Law or the the belief that Jesus was nailed to a tree. You can't have both. If the law is corrupt then the Messiah came to free us from it and there is redemption.

Christian scholars have developed various ways of understanding the law over the years. An early effort was dividing the law into three categories: civil, moral, and ceremonial (Aquinas, 1235-1274 AD; maybe going back to Augustine, 354-430 AD). The Reformers isolated three functions of the law: 1) to bring knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20) in order to move one to seek grace (emphasized by Luther); 2) to restrain evil doers with the fear of punishment; 3) to help one learn better the nature of God’s will and thus arouse to obedience and good words (emphasized by Calvin).

Calvin argued that whoever wanted to do away with the law misunderstood. Jesus did not come to end the law but to remedy transgressions of it. Therefore, the law was abrogated to the extent that it no longer condemned the Christian. Jesus bore the curse of the moral law for christians. The ceremonial laws were different. They have been abrogated only in use, not in effect. They were shadows of Christ. Colossians 2:13-14 refers only to the ceremonial law

Calvin’s position has wide influence today. The practical outcome of this approach is that the law is still binding on the Christian, especially its moral aspects. Some of its ceremonial aspects, especially circumcision and the Sabbath, are shifted to Christian ceremonies (infant baptism and Sunday) . A small group of Reformed Christians believe that even the civil laws should be enforced. (called the Theonomy movement). An excellent guide to the array of perspectives is: Willem VanGemeren (ed), The Law, The Gospel and the Modern Christian: Five Views. The five essays include perspectives from Reformed, Theonomy, modified Reformed, Dispensationalist, and modified Lutheran views. Only the last is not a variation of a Calvinist approach.

The following perspective is the one adopted in this commentary. It has been developed over two and one-half decades of teaching the OT in college and seminary. It is applicable to the whole OT, not just the law, although that is where the remarks will be focused.

The NT teaching on the law is very complex. Jesus taught that he came to fulfill the law, to bring it to fruition (Matt 5:17-20). He also reaffirmed some of the Decalogue, but probed deeper behind it to the intentions of the heart (Matt 5:21-48). In his day the law had been hedged with many protective traditions. Jesus’ controversies with the Pharisees often centered on these restrictions. Jesus affirmed that the law was for Israel’s good, not a burden to be imposed on them. Many of his conflicts with the Pharisees arose over the observance of the Sabbath. Jesus affirmed that doing good works on the Sabbath was right, and that the Sabbath was made for people, not vice versa (Matt 12;Luke 13;John 5;Mark 2:27). Jesus affirmed that the law could be summed up in two basic formulations: to love God whole-heartedly and to love one’s neighbor (Mark 12:28-34). By this he seemed to be saying there was an essential foundation upon which the whole law was based.

Paul’s views on the law must be understood in the context of his struggle with Jewish Christians who took a legalistic stance on the law and wanted to require its observance of Gentile Christians as a means to salvation. Paul had positive things to say about the law understood as torah, but negative things to say about it understood as a legal external code necessary for salvation. The law was holy, righteous and good (Rom 7:12). But the law (legalistically understood, Gal 3-4; 5:1-12) could not justify anyone. Christ’s death canceled the written code (Col 2:14) and the law was a shadow destined to perish (Col 2:16-23). But there was a righteousness apart from the law that upheld it (Rom 3:21-31). It was designed to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24). The writer of Hebrews sees the law foreshadowing Jesus Christ, especially the “ceremonial” sections (Heb 4:14-15;7-8, 9;10).

They had their chances to refute him for over 30 years and never did. They even sent a letter in support of him.

Why should they refute him?They were saving Judaism from Paul and Jews love money. :)

It's during the time that Paul is Antioch that a major new development starts to take place in the Christian movement. Because it's there that we first hear of the expansion of the movement more to gentiles, to non-Jews. Even though it's coming out of this predominantly Jewish social context of the synagogue communities of Antioch. Now the situation seems to be that initially when people were attracted to the Jesus movement, they first became Jews and they had to go through all the rituals and rites of conversion to Judaism. But apparently it's among Paul and some of his close supporters that they began to think that it was okay to become a member of the Christian movement without having to go through all of those rites of conversion to Judaism, and that would, in the case of Paul's career, spark one of the most important controversies of the first generation of the Christian movement. Do you have to become a Jew in order to be a follower of Jesus as the Messiah?

The major issues in converting to Judaism for a gentile, for a non-Jew, is that one must, if a male, become circumcised, and of course this was a an obvious distinction if one is working out in a Greek gymnasium where everyone was nude to begin with so the physical fact of circumcision was the noticeably distinctive quality to Jewish self-identity in the Greco-Roman world. So the ritual of circumcision as a process of conversion to Judaism is one of those major hurdles that people would have thought about from the Greek world background in which Paul was living.

Now the other things that one must do in order to convert to Judaism, in addition to circumcision if a male, would be to observe the Torah. That is, the Jewish law and the dietary and other kinds of purity regulations that would have come from the Torah.

The one other thing to say, though, is that conversion to Judaism was actually much easier for women, and it may actually be the simple fact that more women could easily be attracted to Judaism...we know that later on when we see Paul's churches in the Greek world... in those Greek cities there are far more women in them, and it may be that this is where he had an early following precisely because it was already a hurdle that was easier to jump

The other thing that emerged out of the Jerusalem conference was that Paul would go predominantly to a gentile audience and from this point on in Paul's career he is a preacher predominantly to gentiles. He doesn't really work mostly in Jewish communities any longer. In fact he even says that Peter is the one charged to be the missionary to the Jewish communities. Now as part of this agreement that was reached in Jerusalem, Paul also decides that it would be important to raise funds in support of the poor in Jerusalem. That is, the followers of the Jesus movement who live there and who seem to be beset with some problems as a result of the famine or other kind of economic distress. So part of Paul's missionary activity for the rest of his career is raising funds to bring back to Jerusalem .

It's clear that one of the concerns that keep showing up throughout this period of Paul's ministry is when is this kingdom going to arrive. What's going to happen? How soon? From a fairly early stage we know that almost from the moment that Paul began preaching in the Greek world that people assumed that the kingdom would have to arrive soon. Paul's very first letter, the earliest, single writing that we have in the New Testament is First Thessalonians and already in First Thessalonians Paul is having to console them when people are starting to die within the congregation and the kingdom hasn't arrived yet.

Still, by the end of Paul's career when he writes the massive Roman letter, probably the last thing that he wrote, and when he writes it he still is saying the time has grown short. The kingdom is still near. It appears that Paul never expected to die before the kingdom would arrive and so this apocalyptic message that was the hallmark of the earliest stages of the Jesus movement is still one of its central features prophetic preaching of Paul.

Paul's an interesting case because he is so able to blend a thoroughly Jewish self consciousness and a thoroughly Jewish interpretation of scripture with a great deal of knowledge of Greek rhetoric and philosophy of standard letter writing and other aspects of Greek culture. Paul really is a blend of all of those things and it's precisely that blending that seems to provide a lot of the dynamic quality of his understanding of early Christianity.

Paul's a controversial figure throughout his life. It started when he was back in Antioch. It continues throughout his Aegean ministry, and... the conflicts and controversies that Paul precipitates by virtue of his personality and his preaching really will follow him throughout his career.

By around the year 58 or 60, though, Paul seems to have felt that he had done as much as he could do in the Greek East and was preparing to move on. When Paul wrote the Roman letter, it's the longest of all of his letters and the last one that he wrote, he was preparing to go to Rome. He was writing to Rome but he himself had never been there. We know who was carrying the letter. It's his house church patroness Phoebe who has gone ahead to Rome to prepare the way.... Paul is going to Rome to get the Christian communities at Rome to support him in a new endeavor to go to Spain...to start a new gentile mission in an area that had never before heard the preaching of Jesus. But before he does that he wants to fulfill the promise that he had made to Peter and James back in the Jerusalem conference. For these ten years that he's been in the Aegean he's had his congregations collecting monies together to take back to Jerusalem. Now we find him gathering all that up, each congregation sending an emissary with their part of the contribution, and they're all going as a entourage to lay it at the feet of James in Jerusalem. James is the brother of Jesus, now the leader of the Jerusalem congregation, and it is the direct legacy to Jesus himself through the family members that seems to be very important in this first generation of the Jerusalem congregation.

Delight.

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In the Name of God, The Merciful, The Compassionate:

This discussion is based on a false dichotomy. Neither Paul nor Jesus established Christianity. The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit created Christianity. Christianity truly began on Pentecost.

Best wishes,

Barry O'Connell

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Interesting.I have always wanted to meet a Pentecostal.

Do you think Holy Ghost is not God and Jesus,but another thing?

How do you know when you are baptized by the Spirit?

When the real hero was the Holy Spirit,was their any need for crucifixion?

And my favorite Question.In the presence of Three Deities,is Christianity monotheistic?

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